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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung's future smartphone strategy will include the expansion of folding phones models, with two versions of the future Z Flip and Z Fold expected in 2021.

Throughout 2020 there's been plenty of talk of the rise of foldables and the decline of iterative regular smartphones, with many saying that in 2021, Samsung will be dropping the Note series and shifting S Pen support to other devices.

To fill the premium space is an expansion of folding models. The barrier to folding models so far has been the price and it's expected that Samsung will address that with the release of new models in 2021. While there's still expected to be a Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 in premium positions, it's predicted that there will be more affordable versions of each device to help drive adoption of the next-gen phones.

A report from ETNews suggests that four new folding models will be launched in the second-half of 2021 and we'd expect that to be in August or September, traditionally the time when the Note series was refreshed.

It's expected that the Z Fold 3 will support the S Pen input for the first time, acting as a replacement for the Note. The report also refers to a "general" Z Flip, likely to be the model that comes close to current smartphone prices.

There's been a slow trickle of speculation about cheaper folding phones previously. Most recently a report said that there will be a more affordable Z Flip, while rumours of a Fold e or Fold Lite were running throughout 2020. We're expecting 2021 to be a big year for Samsung's smartphones. It looks as though the Galaxy S will be updated with an event on 14 January 2021 and then followed with a big folding phone launch even for the second half of the year.

Writing by Chris Hall.