Samsung has finally shown off its first foldable phone, but only for a few seconds.
At the tail end of the Samsung Developer Conference, the company talked up its display innovation and demonstrated the first foldable phone, which it will sell in 2019. The presenter folded the phone twice and returned it to his pocket. That, allegedly, is going to cost you a pretty penny when the device launches next year.
There’s nothing official from Samsung about what its foldable phone will cost, or even what it’s called. The rumor mill has long suggested that the foldable phone will be the “Galaxy F” when it comes out. According to the Korean Yonhap News Agency, that is indeed the current working name for the phone, and Samsung is targeting an astronomical price of $1,770 when the phone launches in March.
The device demoed last week was actually a dual-screen folder. When it’s closed, the device has a 4.6-inch display like a traditional (if small) phone. There are sizeable bezels above and below the display to make room for the batteries and electronics that power the main event: a 7.2-inch tablet display that unfolds when the device is open.
We’ve seen foldable phones demoed in the past, but they’ve never been consumer products, and the hardware was clunky or downright broken. It’s hard to say if the Samsung foldable phone will break the mold because we don’t even know what it looks like. Sure, we know the basics, but Samsung had it in a blocky device shell to obscure the details.
The rumored price is objectively a lot of money, but it’s not completely out of left field. Companies have been making ultra-premium smartphones for a few years now. It’s not unusual for a mainstream consumer device to launch at $1,000. In the US, most people buy phones from their carriers on a payment plan. A phone may cost a grand, but you just pay about $40 per month until it’s paid off.
A few phones have even gone well past $1,000—you’ll spend $1,250 for the best version of the Galaxy Note 9, for example.
At $1,770, the Galaxy F would be among the most expensive smartphones in the world, and probably the most costly intended for mainstream consumers. If you purchased the Galaxy F on a typical payment plan, it would add $73 to your monthly bill for 24 months. Will people pay that much for a foldable phone? Maybe just so they can say they have the first foldable phone. More