Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip went up for sale today, but good luck trying to find one of the new foldable phones in Mzansi. Announced alongside the Galaxy S20 series Tuesday last week, the Galaxy Z Flip promises the crowd-wowing flexible OLED of the Galaxy Fold, but at a more attainable price and in a smaller form-factor.
That’s definitely “more attainable” rather than “cheap,” mind you. At R29 999, the Galaxy Z Flip is still in the premium end of modern smartphones, indeed almost as pricey as Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra which is set at R26 999.
Clearly, though, that price tag hasn’t put off everybody. Sales of the Galaxy Z Flip started today, and already stocks of the Android foldable seem to have been depleted at some retailers. Samsung’s very own branded stores and Vodaworld are almost out of handsets.
Both the Mirror Black and Mirror Purple finishes are marked limited quantity stock at Vodacom, too, where the network giant only had an allocation of 15 Galaxy Z Flip’ online and an additional 15 at its Vodaworld store. Samsung opted not to offer the Mirror Gold finish of the clamshell in the South Africa, much to the disappointment of some. Meanwhile over at MTN, the Galaxy Z Flip is being sold for R2 399 per month on a 24-month installment agreement. They haven’t listed their stock quantity.
Samsung South Africa hasn’t confirmed whether new orders will be making their way to South Africa.
Sales success or simply scarce supplies?
It’d be easy to look at this apparent day one demand and decide that the time is right for a foldable phone. Of course, with Samsung not actually saying publicly how many devices it has made available, either through its own online store or to carriers, it’s hard to conclude whether this is an impressive release or just a few early-adopters clearing scarcely-stocked shelves.
Certainly, as devices go, the Galaxy Z Flip seems like the most compelling of the – scant – foldables we’ve seen launch commercially. Making the biggest difference is probably the flexible glass used to protect its display. That feels a whole lot more like what we’re used to from a regular, non-folding smartphone.
It should also make the Galaxy Z Flip more resilient: after all, Samsung didn’t exactly stoke confidence with the Galaxy Fold with its cautionary warning that new owners should avoid pressing too hard with their fingernails on the plastic OLED. Only time will tell how well that glass, and the display itself, hold up to repeated folding and unfolding. Samsung says it’s expecting the clamshell to do 200,000 such movements without issue.