It's finally here! Samsung's folding screen phone, Next Big Thing that will ignite fantasies and empty wallets all over the smartphone world! Or, probably not.
Galaxy Fold is a hopeless device, like a flagship supercar or an ultra rare luxury watch. It's the phone you dream about, but not the one you buy. Samsung knows this, it's hard to imagine they don't, with a price tag that makes Apple's most expensive iPhone look cheap in comparison. And they are fine with it. Because Galaxy Fold is a massive gamble from one of the only phone manufacturers that can do it. And yet this product cycle is played out, Samsung wins.
Purchase of Mustang
Samsung gave the Galaxy Fold pride in its pre-mobile World Congress press adventure, with both the event's tagline and main position secured for bold new design. But that's not what Samsung actually invests in: it's obviously the Galaxy S1
Galaxy Fold was introduced by a vice president of the marketing department. But when Samsung's CEO DJ Koh came out, he was beaten by a brief demonstration of the Galaxy Fold hardware, it was Galaxy S10 + which he personally introduced.
That's because, this year as every year, Samsung is selling a hell of many Galaxy S phones. Even with the disturbing price increases (roughly in line with Samsung's only major competitor, Apple), transportation and finance opportunities will ease the financial pain of the cool new model. But even someone who might justify a $ 1000 hit on the budget would be reticent to double it for Fold.
Do you want more evidence? Fold uses a small (with modern standards) 4.6 inch front screen, probably so small on such a large unit because Samsung needed every cubic millimeter to hug in other hardware around the inner hinge and massive screen. And yet, the Galaxy Fold doesn't get the best of Samsung's latest doohickeys, except the massive interior.
Ultrasonic fingerprint reader integrated in the screen? No, it has a side-mounted reader, like a phone from eight years ago. Reverse wireless charging that can boost Galaxy Buds? No, not mentioned at all. While S10 has a maximum of one terabyte of onboard storage, Galaxy Fold is limited to 512 GB, despite a massive 12 GB of RAM. The phone does not even get the Galaxy S10's signature new feature, the "hole punch" for the camera. The inside uses only a massive cutout for its two cameras.
So what does all this mean? That means Samsung is not keen to make the Galaxy Fold the very best, all the smartphone in every possible measure. Because it doesn't have to be. S10 + plus is the phone they market to enthusiasts, to people who want something on par with (or better than) the latest iPhone or Pixel. Galaxy Fold, on the other hand, is a classic aspiring product: the one you want on everyone's brain, even if no one can afford it. Or even justify it.
Think about this when it comes to cars. If you are a car buffer, you know about Ford GT, Dodge Viper, Nissan "Skyline" GT-R. It's the cars you go about, maybe even take a test drive from the dealer's borrower if you feel daring. But even if you could scrape together the monthly payments, you know you would regret the first time you tried to actually put a full amount of groceries in your suitcase, or the third time you filled the gas tank for a week. 19659004] If you want something fun, but at least a little sane, you buy the Mustang, or the Challenger, or (despite the thought) Maxima sedan. The supercar is the one in the dealer window that gets you into the building. But that is not the one you actually buy.
So it's with Galaxy Fold. This will be Samsung's headline unit in 2019, the one you want to see in multiple advertisements around September and October to make you think about how innovative and futuristic the brand is. And it will work: You won't see anything like that for a while. But with a price tag basically double that of a regular high-end phone, a thickness that hardly comes in your pocket, and the dubious utilitarian upside of a small Android tablet, Samsung knows you're not actually going to buy a
Galaxy Fold is for Bragging Rights
With the smartphone market sinking and deserving as users either give high prices or just keep the older phones longer, there are only two companies that can make the phones so outrageous and advanced. as folded right now. Apple didn't, because that's not how Apple drives. Apple, for all its boast of innovation and genius, is conservative: it has a mild, stable hardware development. And Samsung did Fold – because that's not how Apple operates.
Samsung, with its market leading volume position and its relative security, can afford to make Fold, although it is known Not going to be a money maker like S10. And it's the only player in the Android game that can. OnePlus can't blow hundreds of millions of dollars into research and development for a new form factor. Samsung's domestic rival LG, or the fast-growing Chinese brands such as Huawei and Xiaomi, also can't make a big profit on a growing market. Google can probably afford it, but like Apple, they are relatively conservative when it comes to pure hardware.
Samsung is not conservative. As yesterday's presentation pointed out, they bet big on big phones with the original Galaxy Note, and started a trend that even Apple followed for too long. They have now pushed standard features such as AMOLED monitors, wireless charging and water repellent bodies long before it was clear that there would be a demand for them. Samsung takes the risk. And although it doesn't always stand out – how long did it take the company to finally admit that premium Android tablets would not come back to life? – That means they deserve credit.
So imagine that Fold will flop and that Samsung is aware that this is a strong opportunity. Say Fold does not sell a tenth of the units this year's Galaxy S and Note models do. It is OK. Although Fold is a critical and commercial error, it is worth the money to maintain Samsung's position as a bold design provider (at least by its competitors' closest standards). Having the dazzling shot of the phone unfold in a season's worth of NFL advertising will be worth every penny spent to bring the product to market.
This is going to go in two ways
But let's assume for a moment that Galaxy Fold succeeds. If so, there must be a remarkable relationship of circumstances.
First, Samsung must absolutely nail the hardware. For a first-generation product in a brand new form factor, this seems unlikely. For all Samsung's boasting of "Ten Years of Galaxy S" in the presentation, the first two generations of Galaxy S phones were at best pleasing and just awful at worst.
Remember Google's first forays in Android-powered phones, Microsoft's original surface, or even the first generation of iPhone with its 2G connection? Big changes mean big dangers, and usually big mistakes. With the big polymer-based screen and the odd-shaped AMOLED monitors, I doubt that Samsung itself does these things, which is approaching the usual volume that it releases six weeks after the Galaxy S10 trio.
If Samsung can pull a rabbit out of a hat there, they must also nail the software. This seems a bit more likely, as they have the help of Google working on the latest versions of Android to handle multiple displays and folding screens elegantly. The demonstrations were absolutely impressive, with apps seamlessly transferring between two monitors and working in a plural interface. But don't forget that they also need developers, both big apps like Facebook and Spotify, and the smaller, more personalized apps that users trust, to notice.
And finally, Samsung will require consumers to be excited about a big, big way. With a starting price of $ 1980, even more so for the promised 5G version, Samsung's Market Department would need a miracle worthy of an Old Testament testament to get buyers around the Galaxy Fold block.
There was nothing in the farm's demonstration that showed why a very large but slightly bulky screen, combined with a much smaller and less appealing one that you spend a lot of time, would be worth two or three times the price of the phones we already have comfortable with. Hello, Samsung: My phone is already playing Netflix and is working on Google Maps, and using three apps at one time instead of "just", two are not worth a down payment on a car.
Even in unpacked presentation, the company placed Galaxy Fold as a "luxury" unit without hesitation. And it can win there a few fans: Someone who can afford it will surely have it just for the "wow" factor that made phones like the original Motorola RAZR stand out. With its gratuitous specifications and unique design, it certainly has a better demand for true luxury status than the shiny monstrosities that were squeezed by Vertu and Goldvish. But can you see the average buyer who has four phones to buy on a family plan that spreads out for one? Not a chance.
But again, let's assume all of these unlikely stars are right, and Samsung can't make Galaxy Folds fast enough to sit for consumer demand. If that actually happens, Samsung will know that it has a winner and pour money to make folding tech cheaper and more affordable. In two to three years you'll see foldable Galaxy-branded phones available in easier-to-swallow price points, and competitors will scramble to reverse the hinge and polymer screen for even cheaper designs.
That would be fine. I think I would love a world where phones worthy of a sci-fi stall were common. But like Dick Tracy's radio watch and the transparent computer screens in every science fiction movie, reality seems far less practical than more conventional designs. The far, far more likely scenario is that Samsung sells a few thousand of these phones, to people with enough curiosity and disposable income to check them out, and then wows us with another eye-catching feature in a year or two.  That "Samsung" logo on the hinge is the Galaxy Fold's most important feature. "width =" 1911 "height =" 1082 "data-credittext =" Samsung "src =" / pagespeed_static / 1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif "onload =" pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this); "onerror =" this.onerror = null; pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this); "/>
And that's fine! If Galaxy Fold ends up in the trash can of phone history besides design such as Nokia N-Gage or Kyocera Echo, it will still have served its purpose today: to make Samsung look cool, and what else the Galaxy Fold is status symbol, touch dream, corporate folly-it is surely cool. In a smartphone market where phones start to stand out in a sea of glass, the fact that Galaxy Fold has a Samsung logo on it makes it worth every penny spent to make it real.