While the global pandemic has led to delays in phone launches, it seems two eagerly-anticipated handsets from Samsung are likely still launch: in a quarterly earnings report, the tech company hinted that the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 will still come out later this year.
“Looking ahead to the second quarter … the company will continue to offer differentiated products in the premium segment with the launch of new foldable and Note models,” the report said.
The only foldable we’ve seen hints about is the Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, and another Note flagship (presumably called the Note 20) was expected anyway, so it’s not too wild to assume these are the phones Samsung was referring to.
It is, however, a sign of confidence that Samsung is still releasing a Note flagship given the market downturn. In the same report, the company noted the reduced smartphone demand and projected it would drop sharply in most regions.
It’s also a sign of confidence in premium smartphones in general: the report noted that sales for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra were higher than expected, while the foldable Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, a phone with such limited release that we haven't gotten the opportunity to review it, had ‘solid sales.’ If these costly phones still sold beyond expectations, perhaps that’s encouraging enough to keep the Note 20 and Fold 2 on track for later releases.
- Foldable phones: everything we know
- Motorola Razr vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip: battle of the clamshells
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20: all we've heard
Riding out the downturn with premium – and more affordable phones
Premium phones aren’t the entirety of Samsung’s plan to ride out the reduced demand it's expecting in the next quarter. In addition to increasing efficiencies in the rest of the business – a sort of belt-tightening standard operating procedure – the company also plans on “expanding 5G adoption to mass-market smartphones.”
While this could simply be signaling that successive flagship phones will also be 5G-capable, i.e. the Note 20 (which would be a given since the Galaxy S20 line launched with 5G), this is likely referring to a more affordable smartphone coming later in the year.
The key words, of course, are ‘mass-market’ – which likely refer to the mid-range smartphones Samsung has already planned to release. These include the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G, though it and the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G have already been slated for either Q2 or Q3 2020.
The company may be expecting these models to help buoy sales through the 2020 market, though as the first widely-released mid-range 5G smartphones, they might appeal to a consumer base that’s yet to have such affordable options.
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David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.