Hwang Soon-min and Lee Eun-joo
Samsung Electronics Co.'s much-hyped foldable smartphone Galaxy Fold has finally hit overseas markets where its first batch of pre-orders also was sold out on the first day of its launch amid much fanfare despite its hefty price tags.
According to Samsung Electronics on Thursday, all of the Galaxy Fold were sold on Wednesday after the device went on its first official pre-order sale in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Singapore. The luxury handset was also completely sold out in 10 minutes on the first day of release in Korea earlier this month.
Samsung Electronics sold the fifth-generation (5G) Galaxy Fold model in the UK and Germany and fourth-generation (4G) one in France and Singapore. The phone is available at its Experience Store outlets as well as major offline stores of mobile carriers and department stores in overseas markets.
The demand for Samsung's first foldable phone is high despite its hefty price tags. The device is priced at 1,900 pounds in the UK, 2,100 euros in Germany, 2,020 euros in France, and 3,088 Singapore dollars. The 5G as well as LTE models come at a higher price tag than 2.398 million won for the 5G model in Korea.
The company seems to have succeeded in enticing the demand by providing only a limited volume of the phone, market experts said. Samsung Electronics did not disclose how many Galaxy Fold devices it has offered for first pre-orders in the four countries, but the total supply was estimated to be smaller than that released in Korea.
Upon the launch in Korea on Sept. 6, about 3,000 to 4,000 units are believed to have been supplied to major mobile carriers and Samsung Electronics stores for the first batch of pre-orders, and 10,000 to 20,000 units for the second batch on Sept. 18 that were also sold out in 15 minutes.
Amid high demand but limited supply, the Galaxy Fold is already traded on online marketplaces at home and abroad for second-hand sale at more expensive price tags.
According to Forbes, Galaxy Fold is being sold at a price of 38,000 Hong Kong dollars in shops inside Hong Kong's Mong Kok district, 2.5 times higher than the official release price. Hong Kong is not yet included in the list of countries for the Galaxy Fold release.
Samsung Electronics plans to take pre-orders for the second batch of the Galaxy Fold device in the four countries as soon as it is able to secure supply and release the foldable smartphone in the United States this month.