Samsung outlined the Galaxy Fold at its Unpacked powwow and it has elicited a few cheers at least until the $1,980 price tag was disclosed. The luxury device is impressive, but I'm haunted by a simple question: What the hell am I going to do with the Galaxy Fold to justify the $2,000 price tag ($1,980 is the starting price).
Must see: Galaxy S10 at Samsung | Galaxy S10 deals at Samsung
This Galaxy Fold is clearly going to be a nice shot in the arm for the smartphone industry's margins and average selling prices. After all, somebody has to innovate somewhere for a device category that has flat lined.
Galaxy S10 launch: Specs, prices for S10e, Plus, 5G and which model you should buy | Want a new iPhone or Android smartphone? Here's how to sell or trade | TechRepublic: Samsung's Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10 5G: What it means for IT | Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10e and Fold: A cheat sheet
Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh held up the Galaxy Fold as the beginning of the next decade of the Galaxy line and a device that can jump start industry growth. "Buckle your seat belt. The future is about to begin," said Koh. Koh said that the company has sold more than 2 billion Galaxy phones to date.
As for the big picture, the bet is that Samsung can innovate its way out of competition on the premium and low end of the market. Koh said Samsung has "created an all-new smartphone category."
The details via Justin Denison, product executive for Samsung:
More specs include:
For Samsung, the Fold represents a moment to show off the company's innovation. But here's the catch. Samsung isn't that great at telling me what I should do with their cool innovation. The company didn't give me a lot of use case ideas at Unpacked either.
In theory, this use case conundrum should be sorted out by developers and consumers. It doesn't quite play out that way with Samsung though. Samsung will wow us, but we know there's a price for foldable glory. This premium device won't come cheap so there has to be some must-have function that goes well beyond the smartphone.
Now take this rant with a bit of salt. I mocked phablets back in the day too. Now I have one. Today, I'll chuckle at a 7.3-inch screen smartphone too--and then ponder buying one. I want one, but have no idea why--yet. Perhaps it's a phone, tablet and PC replacement.
Also: Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything we expect | Samsung begins taking Galaxy S10 reservations, will arrive by March 8 | Samsung leaks Galaxy S10 model names | Samsung teases upcoming foldable Galaxy phone announcement in new video | Galaxy S10 rumor roundup: Feb. 20 launch, March 8 ship date, specs, features and price
Maybe it'll be the ability to use DeX and have a laptop on the fly. Maybe I'll be able to go dual screen just so my work life is as cluttered on mobile as it is on the desktop. Maybe there's some collaboration big bang that makes a foldable phone enticing. Or perhaps the footprint of the device is actually smaller. Perhaps businesses will find a great use case for a foldable phone.
Also: Samsung will call its foldable phone what? Apple wouldn't do that
For now, I wait to see what this contraption actually does. Samsung has done enough to make me interested.
Disclosure: ZDNet earns commissions from some of the products featured on this page.