Samsung Electronics has introduced a foldable smartphone that looks like a large makeup compact. This is the second time that Samsung attempted to launch a folding phone. Samsung has also placed 5G mobile network capabilities in all of the flagship models. By doing so, Samsung hopes to retain its role as the biggest global phone company.
Samsung’s folding phone was delayed last year as it fends off rivals in the premium smartphone market that includes Apple, Inc. and Huawei. Apple and Huawei have eroded the sales of Samsung in China and Europe. Huawei has already managed to release folding phones in China while Apple is yet to release an iPhone with 5G capabilities. Folding phones are super premium products that are very expensive to manufacture.
Last year, Samsung generated 34% of its profits from the mobile business and half from the chip business. Its shares rose by 0.2% in the flat wider market. Carriers are betting that the 5G handset will revive the demand for Samsung phones. Since people are keeping their smartphones for as long as 3 to 4 years, the global mobile phone market will have matured by then.
Samsung executives in San Francisco explained that Galaxy Z Flip includes a folding glass that looks like a large square when closed and expands to look just like other smartphones. The smartphone will be available in purple, gold and black at a price of $1,380. Galaxy Fold last year had a plastic screen that folds like a book and is priced at nearly $2,000.
In 2019, Samsung was the number smartphone company but it lost the title to Apple because of the cheaply priced iPhone 11. Samsung also faces stiff competition from Huawei that has a close third in market share. However, Huawei is caught in the battle between the US and China over security and technology particularly 5G.
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