How Samsung Foldables Are Defining the Future of Smartphone Innovation

When Samsung Electronics revealed its first prototype of a flexible display back in 2011, few people
realized they were witnessing a glimpse into the mobile industry’s future. Now, a decade later, Samsung
has shipped 4 times more foldable devices in 2021 than in 2020, exceeding the three-fold market
growth that analysts expected.
Consumer enthusiasm for Samsung foldables is exemplified by the success of the Galaxy Z series. In the
first month since its launch, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 exceeded total accumulative sales of Samsung
foldable devices in 2020.
With foldable smartphone shipments predicted to grow tenfold by 2023, let’s take a look at the key
moments, top innovations and important partnerships that have helped make foldable devices the next
big thing.
Bringing Foldables To Consumers Around the World
Samsung may have first introduced the concept of foldable displays in 2011, but it would take over a
decade to bring foldable devices to consumers around the world.
The next major milestone came in 2019, when Samsung finally brought its foldable vision to reality with
the Galaxy Fold, its first foldable device. Soon after that came the Galaxy Z Flip. The sleek clamshell
design – a throwback to flip phones of yore – made the Galaxy Z Flip an instant icon.
After a decade of progress and three generations of innovation, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 brought
enhanced durability and an improved user experience to foldables. Not only have they set a new
standard in the industry, but they rekindled consumer interest in smartphones in general.
From creating new materials and methods to overcoming mechanical challenges, creating the foldable
category required Samsung to reimagine the smartphone from the inside out.
From the onset, Samsung engineers understood that the key to creating a new category would be
inventing a range of new technologies to ensure the devices would meet the expectations of global
The Infinity Flex Display and Samsung UTG, for example, enabled the world’s first folding glass display.
While its screen may be a continuous piece of glass, a foldable’s body features two distinct components.
This unique structure meant that in order to maintain a design slim enough for daily use, engineers
would have to completely rethink the placement of internal components. That challenge included
designing a new internal cooling system as well as a dual-battery system with technology that optimizes
multiple power sources as one.
To ensure that the devices would be capable of withstanding hundreds of thousands of folds, a
Hideaway Hinge mechanism was designed with Sweeper technology to help keep out dust and dirt
particles. The hinge also added a new layer of functionality to Samsung foldables, allowing them to

stand on their own, which makes them perfect for watching content, making video calls, or taking
hands-free selfies.
Samsung’s dedication to creating new foldable innovations enabled it to achieve yet another major
milestone in 2021 with the release of the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 – the first foldables to receive an
IPX8 water resistance rating.
But the features that set Samsung foldables apart aren’t all hidden beneath the surface. With App
Continuity – a responsive UI that delivers seamless transitions between folded and unfolded modes –
and features like Multi-Active Window and Flex mode, Samsung foldables have unlocked new ways for
users to work, play and express themselves.
Driving Consumer Demand for Foldable Devices
This unprecedented push in innovation has sparked a surging demand for foldable devices, bringing
more users to the Galaxy family than ever before. Compared to the Galaxy Note20, Samsung has seen a
150 percent3 increase in consumers who switched smartphone brands for the Galaxy Z Flip3, and a 140
percent increase compared to the Galaxy S21.
A simple explanation for this massive increase is that both Galaxy Z series devices offer distinct features
that appeal to specific customer groups in ways that no other smartphones have before.
A buyer survey conducted by Samsung revealed that a stylish design, portability and an innovative
folding form factor were the top drivers behind purchases of the Galaxy Z Flip3. The ability to use the
cover screen without opening the device was another important factor for those who value privacy, as
well as those who want to regulate their screen time to manage their mental health. Buyers of the
Galaxy Z Fold3, meanwhile, reported being drawn to its large screen for viewing content, multitasking
capabilities and productivity features, including the S Pen. At the end of the day, it’s clear that both
devices are giving consumers more incentive than ever to switch to a foldable, even if it means changing
brands or operating systems.
Pioneering the Foldable Future
As more consumers become aware of foldables’ incredible potential, interest in the category will
continue to grow. With a variety of innovations set to make their way to consumers in the coming years,
Samsung will continue to lead the foldable category with even more pioneering technology.
To achieve this goal, Samsung is heavily investing in R&D while openly collaborating with app developers
and industry partners such as Google.
For years, Samsung and Google have been collaborating to make the foldable experience scalable by
providing Android developers with the necessary framework and resources. In 2021, the companies
announced guidelines for creating apps for large-screen and foldable devices, building on Google’s work
to optimize its most popular apps – such as Gmail, YouTube, Duo and Maps – for foldable form factors.

Going forward, Samsung will continue to work with partners and developers to develop technologies
that will steer the future of the mobile industry.

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