Goldman Sachs: Samsung’s new foldable phone is a problem for Apple this year

The latest gadget from Samsung has a special display that can fold open and be used like a tablet, the first announcement of its kind.

Samsung's new foldable phone
Samsung's new foldable phone

Samsung’s new foldable phone represents a challenge for Apple in the iPhone maker’s luxury device market, Goldman Sachs warned clients.

The Galaxy Fold includes “a compelling form factor that only Samsung’s foldable OLED technology can deliver,” Goldman analyst Rod Hall told clients in a note Wednesday. “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 latest gadget from Samsung is the first consumer-ready foldable smartphone. Samsung, which revealed the phone on Wednesday, said the device can easily fit in a user’s hand like a traditional phone but can expand to tablet size to watch videos. It has a hefty price tag: nearly $2,000.

Samsung’s unveiling also came at a time when shoppers — and phone makers — are scrambling to find innovative features to justify increased prices in the $1,000 range for high-end consumer products.

Apple shares fell 0.1 percent in premarket trading Thursday following the Goldman Sachs note. More

Thomas Franck@tomwfranck