Samsung Foldable Pre-Order Prices Are Actually Affordable When Compared To Premium Apple iPhones

By Patrick Moorhead - September 2, 2021

One of the more eye-catching announcements at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked was its price points for its new foldable Galaxy Z series devices. Don’t get me wrong, the prices for the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3 can be hard to swallow and should be looked at through the premium goggles. However, Samsung priced these new devices more appealing to the premium smartphone user, the consumer who upgrades to a new flagship device every year. For starters, the Galaxy Z Flip3 has a retail price of $999.99, a penny short of the three-digit mark and right alongside other premium flagships. This new price point is about $400 cheaper than last year’s 5G iteration of the Galaxy Z Flip. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is a similar story starting at $1,799.99, with a pre-order deal of the same price for the 512GB model. Both are more affordable this year, and I think it puts Samsung’s Galaxy Z Series in a comparative range to its Apple iPhone competitor. So much so that I even tweeted out similar values that resulted in similar prices for Samsung and iPhone deals, respectively. Let’s look at the competitive value between the Galaxy Z Fold3 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max 5G, and the Galaxy Z Flip3 and the iPhone 12.

My goal was to compare both devices that were fair considering equally spec’d devices, specifically storage, both with earbuds and device care. The deals for the Galaxy Z Fold include pre-order deals as well, and I think the deals are acceptable, with the tradeoff being the iPhone 12 models are almost a year old. So, while the Samsung deal will not be available after August 27th, what we have now is fair game. Also, the phones outright are not the same price, but when you include accessories and services, the value becomes more apparent than the other. 

The Galaxy Z Fold3 vs. the iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB

These prices are all within the United States and before taxes is taken into consideration:

Galaxy Z Fold3

·      Galaxy Z Fold3 512GB: $1,799.99

·      Galaxy Buds Pro: $52.99 with $200 instant credit for accessories

·      Samsung Care+ (two years total): $155.88 First year free

Total: $2,008.86

Galaxy Z Fold3 5G with Galaxy Buds Pro in a cart at JACOB FREYMAN

iPhone 12 Pro Max

·      iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB: $1,399

·      Airpods Pro: $249.00

·      AppleCare+ for iPhone 12 Pro Max (two years): $199

Total: $1,847.00

iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB with AirPods Pro in a Bag at JACOB FREYMAN

The biggest discrepancy between the two bundles is that AppleCare+ offers a two-year offer while Samsung Care+ offers a one-year deal with the next year at $12.99 a month. Other than that, the bundles are fair in offerings, with the value being arguably a different story. My coverage of Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event or my coverage on the Six Five Podcast with Daniel Newman at Futurum Research, the Galaxy Z Fold3 has many more bells and whistles. The most obvious is the larger fold-out 7.6-inch display which is noticeably larger than the iPhone 12 Pro Max and now includes the S Pen experience. It is essentially an iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch display compared to the 7.6-inch display, with an Apple Pencil if you include a Fold Edition S Pen. Not to mention the Galaxy Z Fold3 has a 120Hz refresh rate, twice the refresh rate of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Galaxy Z Fold3 has twice the RAM with 12GB of memory compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s 6GB. The Galaxy Z Fold3 offers greater value at a compelling price point than the iPhone 12 Pro Max from a technology standpoint.  

The Galaxy Z Flip3 vs. the iPhone 12

These prices are all within the United States and before taxes is taken into consideration:

Galaxy Z Flip3 6.7”

·      Galaxy Z Flip3 256GB: $999.99

·      Galaxy Buds Pro: $52.99 with $200 instant credit for accessories

·      Samsung Care+ (two years): $155.88 + First year free 

Total: $1,208.86

Galaxy Z Flip3 5G with Galaxy Buds Pro in a cart at JACOB FREYMAN

iPhone 12 256GB 6.1”

·      iPhone 12 256GB: $979.00

·      Airpods Pro: $249.00

·      AppleCare+ (two years): $149.00

Total: $1,377.00

iPhone 12 256Gb with Airpods Pro in a bag at JACOB FREYMAN

The difference between the two is about a $178 give or take. Again, the Samsung Care+ is only free for one year, and AppleCare+ is two years. But, what is even more interesting is that if you decided to bundle the iPhone 12 128GB instead of the 256GB, the prices of the two bundles are within and $80 delta. This comparison is interesting since the first comparison considers if you are looking at getting the 256GB iPhone 12 model. Any iPhone 12 storage bundle is comparable to the Galaxy Z Flip3, with the iPhone 12 64Gb being within a $130 delta, which is undeniably significant in value-cost comparisons. The bundles for the Z Flip rely on the price of the 512GB model of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while the iPhone 12 is comparable to the lowest storage model.

Bundle summaries

Here is a summary of all the bundles and a comparison of prices before tax. The Pre-order deals run until August 27th. Each bundle includes its respective “Pro” earbuds and device care for two years:

Galaxy Z Fold3 512GB Pre-order: $2,008.86

iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB: $1,847.00

Galaxy Z Flip3 Pre-order: $1,208.86

iPhone 12: $1,377.00

Trade-in deals 

When trade-in deals come into play, I find it even more interesting. Based on my research, Samsung has across the board better trade-in deals for, according to Device Atlas, the top two most popular iPhones, the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 7. Apple offers a $75  trade-in value for the iPhone 7, while Samsung offers a $125 trade-in value for the iPhone 7. Apple also offers the iPhone 11 for $390 trade-in value, and Samsung offers the iPhone 11 for $575. It would be easy to mix and match trade-in values, but overall, Samsung has better trade in values for devices, whether Samsung or Apple, damaged or undamaged. The trade-in values are a significant factor under the argument that iPhone holds value longer than Samsung devices. It seems to me that Samsung is giving many people a reason to trade in their iPhones.

Wrapping up

As I said last year, if Samsung can price its Galaxy Z Flip3 right, it could become a Samsung bestseller. After looking at these price comparisons, I think this is even more true. I know there are some caveats to the bundles and comparisons, like how these Samsung prices, but it shouldn’t be that close of comparison when considering how new a foldable display is and the greater value there is in a foldable device. The real question is whether or not consumers see the value so compelling that it is worth leaving the Apple ecosystem because ultimately that is where Apple is counterbalancing its iPhone cost-value. 

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.