The real reason why Samsung introduced its first foldable phone

samsung folding phone

Samsung at its Unpacked event introduced an army of Galaxy phones, to be exact five in total, the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 5G, and the Galaxy Fold.

That’s a lot of phones. Isn’t it?

samsung folding phone
Picture: Samsung

The Galaxy S10e would be the medium-range phone with a $750 price point, a direct rival to the budget iPhone XR, which by the way is a complete failure and a nightmare for Apple. 5G technology is not ready yet, but soon will be. The South Korean company is known for pushing limits and implementing groundbreaking technology first. So, they announced their first 5G smartphone, pretty typical of Samsung.

If you live in the United States don’t be too excited about it because there are no 5G networks for the S10 5G to actually work with. It’s just an announcement from Samsung that they have 5G phones ready for whenever 5G networks are operational. Ahead of its primary rival, if you know what I mean.

The Galaxy S10 and S10+, which are very familiar, are typical phones you’d expect from a Samsung event. Check the Galaxy S line evolution to see how much the Samsung Galaxy S phones have evolved throughout the years.

So far each phone kind of has a clear objective from a business point view, but on the contrast, the Galaxy Fold doesn’t seem to follow this ideology. Is the Samsung bendable phone a gimmick or the future of smartphones? Here’s the real reason why Samsung introduced its Galaxy Fold smartphone.

Do you remember the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco? How could you not remember, but anyway what does that have to do with the new Samsung Galaxy Fold? It’s somewhat related if you take it from a specific point of view. I’ll explain what I mean by that.

The following year after Samsung had recalled the Galaxy Note 7, the company released a limited amount of a refurbished version under the name of Galaxy Note FE.

By doing that, the South Korean giant wasn’t looking to make any profit out of it but rather to regain its customers’ confidence in the Note Line, which by the way is undeniably one of Samsung’s most successful products.

Samsung Folding Phone

samsung folding phone
Picture: Samsung

With the new Samsung Galaxy Fold, the world’s largest handset maker end goal is not to make money, but rather to test the public’s reaction about its ultra-futuristic handset.

If people like it, that’s a win-win for Samsung. Folding smartphones will be mainstream, I’m not sure if you’re aware Apple has been considering a foldable iPhone for years.

The company already filed a patent application for a display that can fold in the middle. CNBC has reported that Apple is working on a foldable iPhone and could potentially launch it as early as 2020.

Let’s put that into perspective for a second. Samsung just released its foldable Galaxy phone, and Apple is expected to release a foldable iPhone next year. Does that say anything to you? Well if not, let’s connect the dots here.

We all know Apple is a real technology trendsetter. Whenever the company comes up with a new feature, every other smartphone company will follow suit. Some of those companies even admit it because they heavily depend on Apple’s trendsetting innovation to replicate their own products. That’s how they stay relevant and gain momentum.

A clear example is Apple’s iPhone X notch. Most Android phone makers went crazy on putting a notch on their phones, including the Pixel 3XL, which by the way has the deepest notch. Except for Samsung who stays true to their idea by implementing an edge-to-edge display without a notch. Kudos to them.

We should note that Android phone manufacturers are not the only ones taking inspiration from Apple. It has worked the other way around too. The iPhone 6 Plus is a direct result of Samsung big screen adoption for its handsets.

The Point of Samsung Galaxy Fold

https://youtu.be/z9z_mF4XL4s

So, what’s this all about if it’s not about money?

I think we can agree that an almost $2000 smartphone is not for mainstream consumers. A handful of rich fans or early adopters will likely buy it but not in a way for a company like Samsung to make substantial revenue. According to South Korean news outlet The Bell, the Galaxy Fold will be a limited edition and Samsung will reportedly make only 1 million units in the first round of production.

I don’t think there will be any more production, because making profits is not the point of the Samsung bendable phone. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung Galaxy phone sales have seen a huge decline in recent years.

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus even with their groundbreaking technology weren’t enough to regain sales especially in the Chinese market, where Samsung is losing ground to its Chinese competitors like Huawei and Xiaomi.

The South Korean giant tech is trying to make people excited about smartphones again as Apple did with its iPhone X. Let’s be honest for a second, smartphone form factors are boring, smartphone makers have been using the same candy bar form design since the birth of the iPhone. It’s time for something new, which explained the release of the Samsung folding phone.

You need to understand it’s a first-generation product, of course, it will have flaws. Nobody gets it right in the first attempt, but give credit where credit is due. Samsung may not be the best at marketing their products and creating a loyal fan base, but it’s a company that constantly pushes the envelope with innovative features.

As expected, we have mixed feelings towards the Samsung galaxy fold. Many U.S tech publications have nothing but critics so far. Same thing happened with the Galaxy Note when it was first introduced, they hated it. Yet it has taken the market where it’s today with larger displays.

I’d say give it some time, it will mature an evolve to become a mainstream phone for the mass market. As of this writing, the Chinese giant Telecom company just released the first Huawei foldable phone. Once Apple launches its foldable iPhone, we’ll then see foldable phones becoming a thing.

Wrap Up

Flexible display technology is the way to go now and will change the smartphone industry in the near future.

Samsung is one of the largest display makers, in fact, the South Korean giant used to be the sole supplier of Apple’s high-end iPhone OLED displays. Well, they are not anymore since Apple got a second source of OLED displays, South Korea’s LG Display Co. This is a way for the iPhone maker to better negotiate prices and reduce its dependence on Samsung.

In two or three years we can expect Samsung to make massive revenue from Apple by supplying flexible OLED displays for its foldable iPhone.

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