MWC 2022: Samsung to use robots to customise Galaxy Z Flip 3 smartphones in-store

It is expected that the service will be launched in select outlets worldwide

Samsung to use robots to customise phones in-store

Samsung to use robots to customise phones in-store
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Samsung Electronics will soon give its Galaxy Z Flip 3 customers the chance to see their devices being customised by robots.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer is showcasing an assembly unit that has two robot arms, which can install or swap the front and rear panels of the bespoke editions of its Flip 3 devices.

Samsung had announced in August last year that the Flip 3 was customisable with 49 colour combinations on offer. However, the service is only available in select markets, with the UAE not yet among them.

Robots, similar to those showcased at MWC, will be introduced at select global retail outlets, most likely the larger ones, Samsung staff at the event told The National. They did confirm any timelines.

Samsung Gulf Electronics did not respond to a request for comment about regional availability.

The South Korea-based phone maker unveiled the Flip 3 ─ its first foldable device priced under $1,000 ─ alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 last August. They come with stronger cases, brighter displays, bigger batteries and artificial intelligence-powered cameras.

The company is leaning heavily on the foldable device segment to drive its business towards the next generation of consumer mobility ─ so much so that it has reportedly discontinued its popular Note series in favour of the foldable Z line-up.

Worldwide shipments of foldable phones, including both fold and flip form factors, hit a total of 7.1 million units in 2021, an almost three-fold rise over the 1.9 million units shipped in 2020, the International Data Corporation said last month.

It forecasts that foldable phone shipments will reach 27.6 million units in 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of almost 70 per cent.

"The growth in 2021 can largely be attributed to Samsung's recent success, as the Korean giant made waves in the market thanks to its newest foldable flagships," IDC said.

In particular, the new design of the Flip 3 was a "winner" for consumers because of its compact folding size, larger second display and, most importantly, its $999 price tag, it added.

Samsung is also practically unchallenged in the category; it controlled almost three-quarters of the foldable smartphone market in 2020, figures compiled by Counterpoint Research show.

Last month, Samsung introduced its latest flagship smartphone range, the Galaxy S22, with the high-end S22 Ultra now having a built-in S Pen, the signature accessory of the Note series.

Updated: May 30, 2023, 8:11 AM