Foldables are undeniably some of the most interesting and attention-grabbing phones on the market, but the reality is that they aren't catching on. And while pricing is almost certainly the biggest factor, durability is perhaps a close second.
According to unnamed sources of SamMobile, the latter issue may be at least partially addressed with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 2 receiving an official IP rating for water and dust resistance (via Ubergizmo).
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IP stands for "Ingress Protection" and indicates the level to which a device can withstand exposure to dust and water. Traditional smartphones like the iPhone 12 or Galaxy S21 Ultra feature IP68 certification and can be submerged for up to 30 minutes. The sources didn't have an exact rating for the new foldables, but even a low-level rating that indicated splash and rain resistance would be a significant step forward and could go a long way to easing the minds of buyers paying $1,400 to $2,000 on a foldable phone.
After the disastrous launch of the original Galaxy Fold, Samsung made massive strides with its new hinge found in both the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which largely eliminated the very basic durability concerns that plagued its first foldable. However, the memory of that first effort still lingers for a lot of people and foldables need to overcome that perceived fragility to break out.
We will also see a bit of a price drop this time around. After all, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 increased in price, which is not what you look for in successive generations of a new product category. After watching the Galaxy S21 lineup get a $200 price cut across the board, there is certainly reason to hope for something similar on the next generation of Samsung foldables. It may not be enough to completely solve those primary foldable concerns of price and durability, but it would at least be progressing in the right direction.