Rumours of a Galaxy Fold Lite - why a cheap foldable makes sense in India

Clamshell phones are still a luxury today despite being a year old from the testing stages in 2019. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was an impetus to the industry and the foldable phones have started gaining momentum even more following the launch of Z Flip 5G. A month ago, XDA writer Max Weinbach tipped that a Lite version of Galaxy Fold was in the works and would be launched at a price tag of $1,100. Now, another rumour points out that the device has apparently been pushed off to 2021.

According to Sammobile, reports emanating from South Korea indicate that Samsung has pushed the launch of the Galaxy Fold Lite (Tentative) to 2021. Further, reports point to a $900 (1 million won) price tag which is lower than the previous leak. 

(Image credit: Waqar Khan and WindowsUnited)

A cheaper foldable may hit bullseye in India

This could mean Samsung might compromise the Fold Lite’s specifications book to bring the foldable phone at an affordable price. While the specifics of the comprises are not known yet, we can assume areas like the cover display, processor, and cameras might take a hit.

In the highly price conscious Indian market, a foldable phone could function as a status symbol and come with tremendous aspirational value. This is evident from the fact that even the more expensive of Apple iPhones do sell in fits and starts. Which is why Apple played the reverse game by reducing prices and eventually making it's cheapest device ever, the iPhone SE 2020.

If one were to go by the price points from the report, we could easily assume that the Samsung Fold Lite could arrive on Indian shores at a price point that is below the psychological barrier of Rs.70,000. 

Also, the clamshell designs were hugely popular amongst devices in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the likes of Nokia had specialized in them. And, if Samsung does manage to revive that interest through an expensive-by-Indian-standards device, we wouldn't be surprised if these get popular enough for others to mimic.

However, we can be sure that the company won’t dare to cut corners on the durability of the display, and the mechanism as they are the heart of a clamshell device. That being said, Samsung could have postponed the launch owing to the uncertainty in the current scenario as well.

Nevertheless, Samsung has a history of launching Lite versions of the flagship series and the latest entrant is a rumoured Fan edition of the Galaxy S20 sometime around October. Hence, we just can’t rule out the possibility of a Fold Lite as the device will make more sense in Markets like India where price is the referee of people’s decision.

Foldable phones haven’t really caught momentum in sales owing to their higher price tags. While the technology is still far away from being affordable, companies like Samsung should spearhead the opportunity for a wider reach of affordable foldable phones in price-sensitive markets.