With the new Galaxy Fold, Samsung sends a warning to Apple:
Innovation and quality hardware have been at the forefront of Apple’s success with the iPhone, and this is something that competitors such as Korean electronics giant Samsung are clearly aware of. Apple recently invited technology journalists to attend a product release conference that did not involve any new hardware; instead, the California tech giant introduced new subscription services featuring digital content, thus prompting analysts to wonder if the company has any plans to respond to Samsung’s latest product: the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, large smartphones that turn into tablets by means of ultra-flexible folding took the spotlight. Chinese company Huawei showed off the Mate X, Xiaomi teased a smartphone that can fold into itself three times, and LG introduced an interesting concept that is not really a foldable device but features an additional screen nonetheless. Other Asian companies showed off interesting concepts that are clearly not ready to hit the market, but they still fit into the foldable smartphone aesthetic.
Of all the folding smartphones at the MWC, the only one that will be compatible with American wireless networks is the Samsung Galaxy Fold, an impressive piece of hardware that should start retailing in late April for about $2,000. (Yes, you read that right!). When fully open, the Galaxy Fold measures 7.3 inches; once folded, it looks a little bit like a “phablet” but nowhere as large as the iPhone XS Max. This folding smartphone packs serious computing power: a processor running on eight cores, 12GB of RAM, two long-lasting batteries, 512GB of flash storage, and a QXGA dynamic AMOLED display that is perfect for viewing HD Netflix content.
Since no American companies have hinted on their intention to either design foldable smartphones or work with foreign partners to bring these futuristic devices to the United States, the Galaxy Fold will be automatically be crowned king of this segment, thereby sending a business warning shot to Apple. To prove the durability of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung recently showed a video featuring robots folding and unfolding the device 200,000 times, something that could conceivably happen over a five-year period.
Although Apple has been silent on the foldable smartphone issue, the company recently filed a patent for a clamshell iPhone that looks similar to the flip phones of a few years ago. This does not mean that Apple is working on a device resembling the Motorola Razr from 2004, however it signals an intention to work on flexible materials. Moreover, Italian designer Antonio DeRosa has already come up with a folding iPhone concept that respects Apple’s engineering guidelines, suggesting that a new line of foldable Apple devices could be produced in the future.