Galaxy Fold: Release Date, Pre Order Guide for Samsung's Folding Smartphone
Samsung finally readying the launch for the foldable phone it has promised since 2013. Its $1,900 Galaxy Fold will be available for pre-order starting Friday, April 12, according to a company announcement. Have your credit cards at the ready, though, there will be a few extra hoops compared to your typical smartphone launch.
First, prospective customers will want to navigate to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold landing page and sign up for the mailing list. To do this, hit the blue “Sign Up” button at the top right of the screen then submit your full name, email address, and zip code into the text fields. You will, regrettably, have to agree to receiving Samsung promotional emails in order to complete the process.
Once customers have submitted their information, they will receive an email on Friday allowing them to secure one of the foldable devices for themselves, the company explained in a press release. But you will want to act fast once the email lands.
That’s because Samsung will do a limited launch to suss out demand for what could be the new frontier in mobile, or could just as easily flop. There won’t be nearly as many Galaxy Fold devices readily available for purchase as there will be Galaxy S10 models once they launch on April 26. Kate Beaumont, director of product, services, and commercial strategy at Samsung UK also revealed that it will only be available in certain stores ones it hits shelves.
“We’ll have less supply than we would of the S10 at launch, and also how it goes to market is really important to us,” she said. “This is a super premium device, and we want to make sure it has a concierge-like service and experience, so it’s not going to be on display in all stores.”
Analysts have also predicted that there won’t be many to go around. Brokerage Hana Investment & Securities told Reuters that it expects 2 million Galaxy Fold units to sell over 2019, which would be less than one percent of the 291 million smartphones Samsung sold in 2018.
These low numbers estimates make sense, consumers have grown weary of eye-watering smartphone price tags. This is hardly a problem constrained to Samsung, Apple also suffered a sizable slow down in iPhones sales leading into 2019, and even if it were the halcyon days of smartphone launches, $1,900 would still be a lot to lay down for a smartphone. Still, the Galaxy Fold’s rarity could make it a hot commodity in the United States.
It will after all be the only fully-functional foldable phone available to American consumers. The only competitors are still Huawei’s Mate X and Royole’s FlexPai, both of which are unlikely to cause any fanfare in America any time soon.
Huawei’s access to U.S. markets has be substantially curtailed due to the American government’s fear that the company acts as an arm for the Chinese government. The FlexPai was first to market but only a developers model is currently available and early first-looks of the phone left testers less than impressed.
Friday will be Samsung’s time to let its Galaxy Fold take flight for the first time.