After months of hype, Samsung wins the race to unfold a pricey new phone category

After months of competition with other phonemakers, Samsung became the first company to sell a phone with a foldable touchscreen.

February 21, 2019

After months of hype, yesterday Samsung released the world’s first folding phone, the Galaxy Fold.

The Fold got mixed reviews from early users. But early reactions aren’t always a good litmus test when it comes to consumer tech.

The frontier of foldables

The Fold features several eye-popping numbers: The phone has 2 touchscreens, 6 cameras, a 7.3-inch display… and a $1,980 price tag (even more than Apple’s XS-ive starting iPhone price of $1,099).

Rival phonemakers have “teased” their own foldable prototypes for months — Xiaomi and Lenovo both leaked their prototypes, and Huawei claims to be on track to release its foldable this year.

But now that Samsung has won the race to get a product to market, the next big question is obvious: Will consumers pay $2k for a phone that is also a tablet?

Now, we wait to see how consumer tastes unfold

Many people praised the phone’s features (the phone can run 3 apps simultaneously on its larger screen), but others ridiculed the phone’s massive price tag and unusual design.

But even though consumers often don’t like change at first, the market has a short memory: Apple’s Airpods were widely mocked when released 2 years ago, but now they’re a massive success that many users can’t imagine living without.

Despite the flurry of angsty tweets, Samsung could have the last laugh as the future unfolds.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.