Samsung to launch foldable smartphone on Friday

Samsung Electroinics announced Thursday that it will release its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone on Friday, Septmeber 6. The device, which opens and closes like a book to reveal a tablet-sized screen, will cost nearly $2,000. Photo provided by Samsung Electronics

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (UPI) — Samsung Electronics announced on Thursday that it will release the Galaxy Fold, the company’s first foldable smartphone, in South Korea on Friday.

The 5G-enabled phone-tablet hybrid opens and closes like a book, with a 4.6-inch screen on the cover when closed and a 7.3-inch screen, which Samsung calls the Infinity Flex Display, when fully opened.

The Galaxy Fold will be priced at 2.398 million Korean won, or roughly $1,980.

The device will hit shelves in the United States in the “coming weeks,” Samsung said in a separate announcement on Thursday. It will be rolled out to other countries after its Korean launch, including France, Germany, Singapore and Britain, Samsung said, but did not specify release dates.

The new device “defies the barriers of traditional smartphone design,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Division.

“Consumers have responded positively to larger screens, and the Galaxy Fold’s revolutionary form factor offers a bigger, more immersive screen without sacrificing portability,” Koh said. “This is what we call innovation of new mobile experience in action.”

The hotly anticipated phone was initially scheduled to launch in April, but Samsung delayed the release after multiple reviewers reported serious defects with their units’ hinges and displays. The company said that it has improved the design and construction issues with the new release.

Buyers will also have access to Galaxy Fold Premier Service, which the company calls “a new kind of customer experience,” to provide 24/7 access to experts over the phone for guidance and support with the device.

With the launch, Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone company, is looking to spark a new category in a stagnant marketplace. Several other manufacturers are also developing folding devices, including beleaguered Chinese tech giant Huawei, whose Mate X device has been delayed.

The Galaxy Fold comes with six cameras, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage and will be available in two colors, silver and black, upon release.


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