This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne Edition was the talk of the town at a price of over 400,000 yen. The actual device was on display at the Thom Browne Isetan Shinjuku store until November 17, and there are some people I know who have purchased it, but there are others who find value in the price. In some markets overseas, it is already sold out, and in Japan, the Galaxy Z Flip Thom Browne Edition introduced at the beginning of this year was also sold out.
The Galaxy Z Fold2 Thom Browne Edition has not only a branded logo, but also faithfully reproduces the world of the brand down to the packaging and accessories, and it is a serious model that was introduced as a product that is worth the price. It also comes with a flip cover that covers the back and surface, which is not yet available as a genuine product for the models. Ease of use is also pursued.
Samsung's foldable smartphones have a high price tag due to the high cost of the display and the fact that they are the latest technology yet to be developed by other companies. However, the texture and finish of the device are also well made, and it is a product worth collaborating with for the brand.
In addition to Tom Brown, Samsung has also collaborated with British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin in China to produce the Galaxy Z Fold2. Previous collaborations with luxury carmakers include OPPO and Lamborghini, OnePlus and McLaren. Luxury carmakers are the perfect example of a luxury smartphone collaboration.
By the way, the Aston Martin edition of the Galaxy Z Fold2 costs 20999 yuan (about 333,000 yen). The Tom Brown edition costs 27,199 yuan (about 430,000 yen) in China, which is reasonable in comparison. The package for the Aston Martin edition includes a Galaxy Z Fold2 and Galaxy Watch3, as well as a limited edition cover, shirt, and cap. The Tom Brown version has the original design of the body and includes the Galaxy Buds Live of the same design, but this version is not as customized as that.
We believe that the Galaxy Z Fold2 is collaborating with luxury brands in this way to get a higher price and increase the premium feel of the product. A long time ago, the most expensive smartphone on the market was the top of the line iPhone model, but now the brand collaboration models are much more expensive. Recently, the Huawei Mate 40 RS Porsche Design, the latest collaboration between Huawei and Porsche Design, has been launched, with the ceramic model priced at 13999 yuan ( about 222,000 yen).
As a matter of fact, Samsung has been rolling out the premium model "XinXiTianXia" series in China for more than 10 years now, in collaboration with Chinese carrier China Telecom. In other words, high-priced phones have been rolling out for Samsung for years, and the product finishing and sales promotions are familiar to them. The XinXiTianXia series has changed its base model to the Galaxy Fold since last year, and the Samsung W21 5G, announced in November 2020, is based on the Galaxy Z Fold2.
The W21 5G has the same basic specs as the Galaxy Z Fold2, including the Snapdragon 865+, with a memory configuration of 12GB of RAM + 512GB of ROM. In terms of body design, the Galaxy Z Fold2 has slightly sharper edges, but the W21 has a softer look with more rounded edges. The W21 5G is priced at 19999 yuan ( about 317,000 yen), but it's becoming popular with a certain demographic in China. It originally came out as a "CEO phone", so it is being developed with a narrower target audience.
When smartphones started costing more than 100,000 yen, the latest high-end models were no longer something that anyone could easily replace every year. And even in Japan, carrier discounts on handsets are limited, so the days when you could buy the latest iPhone at a discount are a thing of the past. On the other hand, the higher-end model of the Galaxy Z Fold2 will be a magnet for those who want a model with a finish that matches the higher price tag.
You won't see a luxury brand collaboration model of the iPhone, but the Apple Watch's collaboration with Hermes is popular. People have different tastes in clothes and bags, some want functions, some want branded products, and some want a bag for everything. No matter whether the smartphone is an IT product or not, more and more people will be concerned about its appearance and brand as well as its function and performance.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.