China is without a doubt the promised land for foldables. The vast majority of foldable smartphones rarely travel outside the country’s borders. Therefore, Chinese users have a lot more options when it comes to choosing the perfect foldable than their Western peers.
In Europe and the US the choice is (usually at least) between Samsung and Samsung. It’s hardly a secret that the Korean tech giant is the king of foldable devices – its market share is smaller than any other foldable device manufacturer.
But numbers aren’t everything, and many Chinese companies are developing increasingly sophisticated foldable smartphones themselves. And Samsung seems to recognize that fact and feel the heat. Perhaps this is why Samsung offers more luxurious versions of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 in China under a new name and with a new stunning design. The Samsung Galaxy W23 and the W23 Flip are, for almost all intents and purposes, the same smartphones as the smartphones that Samsung released internationally in August. However, there are two major differences. First, the design is definitely more premium now. The foldables look beautiful and Samsung has used more high-quality materials in the production, including ceramics. Second, all configurations feature a full 16GB of RAM. In comparison, the Z Fold 4 only has 12 GB, while the Flip 4 comes with a meager 8 GB. This just goes to show that Samsung understands it needs to step up its folding game in China, where it actually already has competition.
The Korean tech giant has been criticized in recent years for its overall complacency with subpar design. Chinese manufacturers have already found ways to limit the extent of the creases that plague foldable devices, and some have even eliminated the infamous gap. Samsung’s two latest foldables in the West are still struggling with both issues.
Sooner or later, other global tech giants will enter the foldable market (such as google). When that day comes, Western users will have an alternative to Samsung… Maybe then the company will decide to innovate again.