Samsung’s president Young Sohn raised eyebrows yesterday when he said at an event in Germany that the company had sold a million Galaxy Fold smartphones. Sohn touted this as proof that Samsung’s decision to launch the “luxury” smartphone despite the ongoing issues was the right one. Now, Samsung has clarified the situation via Korea’s Yonhap news agency that Sohn was incorrect — it hasn’t sold that many phones.
Usually, Samsung announcing a million phone sales would be rather poor performance. It usually moves several million phones in the first month of a big release. However, the Fold is no ordinary smartphone. It’s the first Google-blessed foldable device in the world, and it costs a whopping $2,000. As if that wasn’t enough, Samsung spent months addressing design flaws after some very public failures last spring. It delayed the launch for months, and the revamped Galaxy Fold is still much more fragile than other phones.
So, in that context, a million phones was an extremely impressive figure. The idea that Samsung could rake in $2 billion in revenue from such a troubled phone suggested there might be major consumer interest in foldables, even if they were super-expensive. Apparently, the company originally hoped to sell a million Fold units in 2019, but that was before all the delays. Sohn may have somehow confused this early target with actual sales numbers — he even cited the million-phone figure as proof that Samsung didn’t make a mistake launching what is essentially a beta product. That seems like a mistake the president of the company should not have made, but here we are.
According to Samsung’s statement, the company has not sold a million phones, but it won’t say how many it has sold. It also clarified that its updated target for Galaxy Fold sales with the late 2019 launch was 500,000 units. Considering it didn’t announce that milestone, we can safely assume it has sold fewer than that.
So, we can consider this one million sales incident just the latest chapter in an extremely messy launch for Samsung’s first foldable phone. We expect Samsung to give it another shot in 2020, hopefully with a much less expensive phone that doesn’t break quite as easily.
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