The failure of Apple Inc. to move beyond the confines of the iPhone, and the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a true foldable smartphone, spells big trouble for Apple, says investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Samsung introduced the Galaxy Fold at the "Galaxy UNPACKED" event in San Francisco on Wednesday where Samsung also revealed its newest line of smartphones and accessories.
The Galaxy Fold features two OLED displays. The first display is a 4.8 inch (122 mm) AMOLED display. Galaxy Fold can be opened-up to reveal a 7.3 inch (185 mm) AMOLED display that can be used like a tablet.
Samsung calls the expanded display the 'Infinity Flex' display. Starting price for the Galaxy Fold is $1,980, which is twice the starting price of the Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone XS. Galaxy Fold will launch in the U.S. with AT&T and T-Mobile starting April 26.
It will come in the colors Martian Green, Astro Blue, Cosmos Black and Space Silver. There will be 4G LTE and 5G versions.
The unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Fold comes as shoppers are eager for innovative new features that justify the high-end prices of the new smartphones making their way to market. The failure of the Tim Cook's iPhone X smartphone line is often cited as an example of charging too much money for too few new features.
The Galaxy Fold, which competes in the luxury device or high-end market, includes "a compelling form factor that only Samsung's foldable OLED technology can deliver," said Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall in a note to clients the other day.
"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."
Samsung said the Galaxy Fold can easily fit in a user's hand like a traditional phone. This revolutionary device, however, can expand to tablet size to make it a lot more fun to watch videos, for example.
Hall sees the Galaxy Fold's foldable form factor as "challenging for Apple, who could find themselves with no access to the critical flexible OLED technology for which we believe Samsung has at least a two year lead over other display competitors."
Apple is expected to launch its own foldable phone in 2020. Speculation has it Apple's foldable phone will be an outwards folding design in contrast to the Galaxy Fold. Apple believes this option is a cheaper and easier way to do folds, and will also result in a slimmer form figure.