Seoul: Samsung Electronics Co.'s new foldable smartphone hit the shelves in South Korea on Friday as the world's largest smartphone maker aims to popularise the foldable form factor in the market.
Sales of the Galaxy Z Flip started at 9 a.m. at local online and offline stores, according to Samsung and local mobile carriers.
Industry insiders expect 20,000 Galaxy Z Flip smartphones to be distributed to local vendors in the first week -- a nearly 10-fold increase from the initial volume of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung's first foldable smartphone, launched last year, Xinhua news agency reported.
Due to limited volume, they predicted that not all retailers in South Korea will have the Galaxy Z Flip in stock, but customers are not likely to wait long as they did it for the Galaxy Fold.
The Galaxy Z Flip, which bends in half vertically, is priced at 1.65 million won ($1,395) in South Korea, roughly 700,000 won cheaper than the Galaxy Fold's launch price.
A limited edition of the Galaxy Z Flip, in collaboration with U.S. fashion brand Thom Browne, comes with a price tag of 2.97 million won. It will be launched next Friday.
Local analysts predicted that Samsung may sell 3 million units of the Galaxy Z Flip globally this year.
The Galaxy Z Flip uses the industry's first ultrathin glass cover on top of the OLED screen, making it more durable and scratch resistant compared with plastic displays.
It comes with a 6.7-inch foldable main display and a 1.1-inch cover display on the front of the handset that allows users to check the time and notifications.
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