Samsung Reveals Foldable Smartphone, New S-Series Lineup: 'A Potential Problem For Apple'

With smartphone sales plateauing amid market saturation and increased adoption rates, manufacturers are vying for a piece of a shrinking market and relying on innovation as a differentiator. 

Both Apple Inc. AAPL — with its iPhone fiasco — and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd SSNLF had a forgettable 2018.

Samsung unveiling its latest lineup of Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e and S10 5G smartphones at its Unpacked event Wednesday in San Francisco. This also marked the tenth launch anniversary of the Galaxy S.

Galaxy Fold: A Tablet-Phone Hybrid

The company also gave a sneak-peek at its Galaxy Fold phone. It doubles as a tablet, and upon unfolding, creates a 7.3-inch touchscreen.

When unfolded, the Galaxy Fold can simultaneously run three different apps on the screen.

The device's 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display is a tablet-sized screen; when folded, it has a smaller 4.6-inch HD+ display.

The specs include 512 GB Universal Flash Storage 3.0, a QUALCOMM, Inc. QCOM 7nm octa-core processor, 12GB of RAM and two batteries.

The foldable phone will sport six cameras: three at the back, two on the side and one on the front. The phone falls in the ultra-premium segment, with a price tag of $1,980.

The Galaxy Fold has a compelling form factor that only Samsung's OLED tech can deliver, said Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall, according to CNBC.

"Should that form factor spark consumer interest, we would expect Samsung to delay access to the technology for Apple. We see this as a potential problem for Apple this year, though the lack of a device at this point drives us to reserve judgment."

The Fold launches in LTE and 5G versions beginning April 26.

The Newest S-Series Trio

The S10, S10+ and S10e are available for pre-order Thursday and become commercially available March 8 with starting prices of $900, $1,000 and $750, respectively.

All three phones will have AMOLED screens, with 6.1-inch, 6.4-inch and 5.8-inch displays, respectively. The S10 and S10e have a single front camera and the S10+ comes with dual front cameras, while the S10 and S10+ sport triple rear cameras.

The S10 comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage as well as 8GB RAM and 512 GB internal storage. The S10+ comes in 8GB RAM and 12GB RAM variants.

All models work on Android 9 or Pie OS and are dual-SIM devices. 

5G-Ready Phone On The Horizon 

Samsung also announced S10 5G, although it did not give a specific launch date or price. The company suggested it might be priced $100 more than the S10+. The S10 5G is expected to become available via Verizon Communications Inc. VZ in the second quarter.

The S10 5G will ensure improved network speeds due to the Qualcomm X50 5G modem included along with its Snapdragon 855 processor.

More Accessories

Samsung also unveiled accessories for the latest line-up of S-series phones.

  • Galaxy Bud: connects easily to S10, S10+ or S10e for playing music and making calls handsfree using Bixby.
  • Galaxy Watch Active: tracks activities and can be linked up with S10, S10+ or S10e.
  • Other wearables include Galaxy Fit and Fit e, both of which are to be made available by the end of May
  • Clear view and LED view cover.

Related Links:

Smartphone Demand Hits A Peak: What's Next For The Technology?

Samsung Introduced 10 Times The Number Of Models In 2016 Than Apple; Did It Translate To Market Share?

Photo courtesy of Samsung. 

Posted In: CNBCsmartphonesNewsTechMedia

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