Samsung could be unveiling its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 foldables, and the Galaxy Watch 6 series – sooner than expected – with a new rumor pointing to a July launch date.
The company has historically held this Unpacked in August each year, even after decoupling it from the IFA trade show in Berlin. For 2023, however, Samsung is thought to be bringing the event forward, to the last week of July.
This latest rumor comes from Sammobile, and follows an earlier report that noted the company was mass-producing the hinges for its foldables sooner than it has done in previous years.
To be clear, a July launch wouldn't be significantly earlier that previous years, but shifting the date forward by two weeks would mean the on-sale date would also be brought forward by two weeks too. With Google's Pixel Fold and multiple Motorola Razrs reportedly waiting in the wings this June, Samsung is likely feeling the heat, which might account for this revised release schedule.
Analysis: possible coordination with Google?
It’s not just Samsung that’s launching things earlier than expected this year, Google’s Android 14 is also though to be touching down sooner than it normally does; with an August release rather its usual arrival in September. This means Google might release the Pixel Fold, running Android 14 – an operating system built to take advantage of the foldable form factor – at around the same time that Samsung is expected to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 5, running Android 13.
Samsung could be aligning its Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 launch with the Android 14 release this year deliberately. Considering the company typically has its Fold and Flip launch in the middle of August – missing the typical Android release brouhaha by weeks – aiming for the last week of July this year would mean that Android 14 and Samsung’s new foldables could likely hit at the same time; allowing for Samsung to pre-load this latest release on its own foldables.
It’s one of those theories that remind us of the difference between possible and probable. Samsung will always release an updated version of One UI with its smartphones and foldables – to take advantage of their specific capabilities – no matter what Google does with Android. However, this is the first time Google is making a foldable-focused version of Android complete with its own foldable device, in the Pixel Fold. As such, it would be a missed opportunity if one of Android's biggest supporters and players did not take advantage of the timing, assuming talk of that timing holds true.