The price drops below 10,000 yuan. Does Samsung foldable phone have a play?
On February 12, Samsung released the latest foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip.
It is very different from last year's Galaxy Fold. Flip is more compact and convenient. It uses a vertical fold up and down. The full screen is 6.7 inches after expansion.
This is the first time Samsung has released a mobile phone that folds up and down, but it is not alone. Last year, Motorola released a mobile phone with a similar mechanical structure, Razr, for $ 1,500.
And Flip has achieved a leap in price, directly dropping to 1,380 US dollars (about 9600 yuan), which is even lower than its new flagship Galaxy S20 series high-end version. Compared with Fold (RMB 15,999) and Huawei Mate X (RMB 16,999), it has dropped more than 40% directly.
It can be seen that Samsung has further controlled the cost of the industrial chain, and Flip has become the cheapest foldable mobile phone now. At the same time, externally questioned noise also comes, such as small battery capacity, false demand, invalid innovation, and so on.
Indeed, foldable devices have not yet matured from products to the industrial chain. But innovation comes from iteration, and tech giants need to occupy the niche in new technologies.
Folding up and down with glass cover
First of all, let's analyze the most interesting aspects of Flip. One is the vertical folding method.
Here comes the trade-off between portability and operability. Compared with ordinary smart phones, the Flip screen does not become much larger, but it can become small after being folded, emphasizing portability and becoming a pocket device. Some people think that mobile phones have entered the stage of handheld devices and wearable devices from pocket devices. Now everyone keeps mobile phones in their pockets for a short time. Therefore, smart phones often sacrifice convenience for a little more. Great operational interaction capabilities. Of course, maybe Samsung and Motorola's judgment is that the mobile phone will still be a pocket device and is willing to invest further.
It should be pointed out that the mobile phone that is folded up and down is essentially different from the previous flip phone. The flip phone is only compromised for portability. The screen size after opening and folding is the same, but the interactive device keyboard is expanded, showing, Interaction efficiency has not improved. But now, for example, Flip, on the basis of portability, improves the display efficiency by at least 2 times. Its interactive screen is 6.7 inches, and the folded carrying screen becomes half the area.
Another highlight is the first commercial glass cover. As we all know, on the OLED screen, there is also a need to protect the screen and support the folding cover, which is very critical to the folding performance. The previous foldable mobile phones used CPI (transparent polyimide, a plastic). For the first time, Samsung combined glass materials with CPI for commercial use.
Chen Jun, deputy general manager of Qunzhi Consulting, told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter: "The foldable ultra-thin glass (UTG: Ultra-Thin-Glass) used by Samsung in this release of Galaxy Z Flip must have obvious hardness and durability Better than CPI. Compared with CPI protective cover, although ultra-thin glass is relatively hard, it is fragile, especially when the bending rate is very small. For this reason, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip uses CPI + The combination of UTG, that is, covering a thin layer of CPI protective film on the ultra-thin glass, on the one hand, increases the hardness of the cover surface, while reducing the fragility of UTG, and greatly improves the reliability. "
And Hu Wei, general manager of Donglihua, also pointed out that although CPI has the characteristics of bending resistance, high transparency, and non-fragile, but its hardness, impact resistance, and optical effect are not as good as foldable glass. For example, the CPI has a poor anti-scratching ability and is prone to scratches; the CPI has a poor anti-impact protection ability. When an external force strikes, the OLED display inside the CPI is easily damaged. The flexible ultra-thin strengthened glass has sufficient hardness. When the flexible glass is broken, it can effectively protect the OLED inside.
In Hu Wei's opinion, with the formation of the folding screen trend, foldable ultra-thin strengthened glass will eventually replace CPI. And glass cover manufacturers have also been investing in research and development and commercializing technologies, such as Corning, Asahi Glass, NEG, SCHOTT, ECONY, Donglihua, DoInsys, and so on.
Although from a mechanical perspective, folding up and down is not a revolutionary innovation, but it is groundbreaking from the perspective of interaction and materials, including glass cover technology, hinge technology, support for folding at any angle, and so on. The new compact pocket design also has cost considerations. After the cost of the supply chain is reduced, the popularity of folding screens can be promoted, and then there is more room for extension.
Foldable wind, who will pilot?
Although public opinion has negative noise for the new folding mobile phones, it has to be said that Samsung is indeed leading the trend of folding screens, and it is continuously debugging core industry chains, such as the most core screens. The significance of this Flip phone may not be in sales, but in that Samsung continues to gain a foothold in the industry chain of folding screen technology.
Some people say that foldable phones are fake demand and fake innovation. An industry insider told a 21st Century Business Herald reporter: "A good product is of course very important, even opening a new era. However, there are constant immature products. Excellent products will be born. The key is that we are constantly innovating in order to select the shortlisted products among many innovations. This is the result of extensive screening and an iterative evolution process. We have to make many attempts to make horizontal folding screens, Vertical folding screens need to be large screens and small screens. After that, the market will be possible, and the market and the supply chain will complement each other. "
It is very important to dare to try, to integrate the supply chain, to dare to control costs, because this is not an easy decision. It is not the end of a screen. For Samsung, especially Motorola, it may be a desperate attempt. Products may not be successful in the end, but their impact on the industry chain is profound. Moreover, Samsung is now ready to ship and is also ready to supply millions of orders.
In other words, Samsung is thinking about the industrial chain, and it will set off a wave of folding. Even if it does not sell folding phones in the future, it can continue to sell folding screens.
In 2020, the foldable mobile phones of the giants will be released one after another.
In October 2018, Rouyu released the world's first folding screen mobile phone, Soft Pie. 2019 is the first year of folding screen mobile phone development. Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo's folding mobile phones have also officially launched. Chen Jun said that looking at the future, more terminal brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Lenovo, etc. are among the layout of folding products, and more folding products will be released from 2020-2022.
According to the data from Qunzhi Consulting's "Foldable Smart Terminal Series Research Special Report", the global sales of foldable smart phones in 2019 is about 700,000, of which Samsung shipped about 450,000. It is estimated that in 2020, The sales volume was about 4 million units, a year-on-year increase of about 519%.