When Samsung unveiled its latest generation of foldable smartphones – the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 – the focus was largely on upgrades geared towards consumers, from an improved display to superior audio performance.
However, the company has a secondary plan for its new foldables that was only hinted at during the launch event: to capture the business market.
Speaking to TechRadar Pro over email, Samsung revealed that optimizing the devices for professional use cases was a key priority during development.
“The modern workplace can now be wherever you want it to be – from an office to your kitchen table or even in the back of a taxi – so professionals need smart, powerful, long-lasting mobile devices that allow them to be productive wherever they are,” explained Joe Walsh, Direction of B2B at Samsung UK & Ireland.
“Our latest additions to the Galaxy Z Series epitomize these characteristics. These are devices that are built for 2021 business, and we have packed them with features that will enable our customers to thrive.”
In particular, Walsh highlighted the new multi-window feature, which lets users run three apps on-screen at once and is available across both new devices. In theory, the feature will enable a PC-like multitasking experience when collaborating on documents, taking notes, managing emails and other similar tasks.
He also gave a nod to partnerships with the teams behind Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams, the enhanced durability of the devices and the new S Pen stylus – all of which will improve the experience for professionals.
The future is foldable
Although Samsung’s new devices are undeniably impressive from an engineering standpoint, there are those who think foldable phones will prove to be a flash in the pan; an innovation that burns brightly but only briefly. But Walsh is bullish about the technology, which he thinks has reached an important tipping point.
“The foldable form factor represents another step forward in smartphone innovation, but one that we are confident is now reaching the mainstream,” he told us.
“As more consumers start to experience the benefits of using a foldable device in their personal life, we anticipate a significant uptake from large and small enterprises looking to equip their staff with this new technology. In this modern era of business, there is no industry or business size that cannot benefit from a device that optimizes their productivity.”
The main stumbling block to Samsung’s ambitions is likely to be cost. For businesses to opt for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 (which retail for $1,799/£1,599 and $999/£949 respectively), they will need to be confident the devices offer sufficient value to compensate for the price differential with traditional alternatives.
Asked about the benefit-cost ratio of the new foldables as compared with other, cheaper business smartphones, Walsh explained that the value of foldable smartphones will only become clearer as the technology matures.
“The Galaxy Z Series represents cutting edge technology and innovation that redefines how we think about smartphones. Before we launched the Z Fold in 2019, the concept of foldable glass on a device would’ve been outside many of our imaginations.”
“Three years later, we have launched two devices that layer this display of innovation with the benchmark standards of power, battery and storage…[And] dispute these upgrades, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are our most affordable foldable devices to-date.”