Samsung unveils its first folding smartphone, a ‘luxury device’ for consumers with tremendous potential for businesses as well
The Lowdown: The Samsung Fold, which hits the U.S. market in April through AT&T and T-Mobile, looks like a conventional smartphone — albeit a little thicker — with a large 4.6-inch HD screen. Opening the device reveals a seamless 7.3-inch display that provides the functionality of a tablet and a smartphone simultaneously.
The Details: The starting price for the Samsung Fold is $1,980, nearly double the standard Galaxy S or Note — Samsung’s current phablet device — as well as most versions of the Apple iPhone. The device boasts a full-day power charge through two synchronized batteries in each side of the chassis. The Samsung Fold has a next-generation AP chipset, giving it the ability to multitask similarly to a PC. And its standard 12GB RAM accelerates application responsiveness and performance.
Whereas early versions of multi-screen smartphones have a seam in the middle, where the hinges are, Samsung has created a new flexible, thin display layer that can fold and unfold without a seam. Additionally, the hinges are hidden internally behind a spine. Samsung says the display and hinges are durable enough to perform thousands of openings and closings without causing damage.
The Impact: The Samsung Fold is among the many folding devices expected to come to market this year and next. It’s primarily a consumer device, but Samsung channel chief Michael Coleman tells Channelnomics that the company has high expectations for selling the devices and connected services to businesses through channel partners. Samsung sees tremendous potential for the Samsung Fold and Galaxy S10, the company’s iteration of the flagship Galaxy S line, in business settings and verticals, including health care, civil engineering, hospitality, and retail.
Samsung is working with software and device partners to create applications through open software development kits (SDKs) for general business and specific vertical use cases.
The Buzz: “Today, Samsung is writing the next chapter in mobile innovation history by changing what’s possible in a smartphone,” said DJ Koh, president and CEO of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy Fold introduces a completely new category that unlocks new capabilities never seen before with our Infinity Flex Display. We created the Galaxy Fold for those that want to experience what a premium foldable device can do, beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone.”