Samsung unveiled a highly anticipated smartphone with a foldable screen in an attempt to break the innovation funk that surrounds the smartphone market.
But it’s far from clear that consumers will embrace a device that retails for almost $2,000, or that it will provide the creative catalyst the smartphone market needs.
The Galaxy Fold, announced Wednesday in San Francisco, will sell for $1,980 when it is released April 26.
Consumers willing to pay that heavy price will get a device that can unfold like a wallet.
It can work like a traditional smartphone with a 4.6 inch screen or morph into something more like a mini-tablet with a 7.3 inch screen.
When fully unfolded, the device will be able to simultaneously run three different apps on the screen. The Galaxy Fold will also boast six cameras: three in the back, two on the inside and one on the front.
After spending nearly five years developing the technology underlying its foldable-screen phone, Samsung is clearly hoping for a big payoff.
“Get ready for the dawn of a new era,” declared DJ Koh, who oversees Samsung’s smartphone division.
The new phone, he said, “answers skeptics who said everything has already been done.”
If Samsung is right, the Galaxy Fold will spur more people to upgrade their phones.
Overall smartphones sales peaked in 2017.
Samsung saw its smartphone sales fall 8 percent last year. But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones, at least in the early going.