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Samsung Launches $1,980 Galaxy Fold Phone That Turns Into Tablet

By Bloomberg 20 February 2019
Caption
A South Korean woman stands next to a Samsung advertisement at the Samsung Electronics headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, 08 January 2019. Samsung Electronics Co. said on 08 January its operating profit plunged 28.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago due to weak memory demand, falling far short of market expectations. EPA-EFE/JEON HEON-KYUN

Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled a $1,980 smartphone with a foldable screen, a dramatic shift in the mass market for phones.

The device has a 4.6-inch screen when used as a phone and can unfold into a tablet with a 7.3-inch screen, Samsung said Wednesday during a demonstration kicking off its Unpacked event in San Francisco. The company said the new phone, called the Galaxy Fold, will be available April 26 and come in four colors: black, blue, silver and green. Users will also be able to customize the color of the folding hinge.

Samsung’s device is not the first foldable-screen phone, but the company’s brand, reach and technological prowess makes it the most advanced folding phone for the mass market. It’s a leap that rivals the category shifts not seen since smartphones took off with a broad audience more than a decade ago.

The larger screen means users can multitask and view three applications at once, the company demonstrated on stage. Users can display the Galaxy Fold like a phone, then open it up to see the larger view via a feature called App Continuity, Samsung said. The company said it’s working with Google on Android and third-party developers to optimize the software and their applications.

The Samsung device includes a new chip and 12 gigabytes of RAM, which is more memory than most laptops. It also has 512 GB of storage, which is the same as the maximum for Apple Inc.’s latest iPhones. The phone includes two batteries — one below each screen — to allow for the folding mechanism to function properly.

The Galaxy Fold has six cameras across the back, front and inside the fold of the phone. DM

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