Samsung has, without a doubt, announced one of the most exciting smartphone products in a long while today (oh, and also the new Galaxy S10 lineup). But it has also introduced a price tag as a huge gatekeeper.
In some cases, being an early adopter is the knowledge that you will be paying a little bit more for something. That usually means a higher price tag for something brand new, especially when it introduces a new technology or design. It can also mean you’re paying for the opportunity to field test a new design, which may have some rough edges. Samsung might hit all of those points with its newest smartphone, the Galaxy Fold.
A quick refresher: The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s first foldable smartphone for the general consumer. It has a display on the outside when it closes, which measures in at just over four inches, and a giant 7.3-inch display when the phone is unfolded. There are six cameras, a ton of RAM and onboard storage, and even a big ol’ bezel on the inside. It comes in a variety of colors, owners will be able to personalize the hinge, and this is obviously Samsung’s big bet on what’s next for smartphones.
Samsung is probably going to be pretty frustrating in the near future, especially as other companies out there (like Motorola) start launching their own foldable phones. And just imagine if the rumors are true and Apple is indeed considering a foldable phone at some point in the future. But, when you’re first in such a way maybe you’ve earned the right to brag about it when others finally catch up.
The Galaxy Fold is an awesome looking smartphone, and it does feel like this may be just the beginning to a pretty massive change in the smartphone industry. But, as I said earlier, Samsung also welcomed the price tag as a giant gatekeeper. The Galaxy Fold is a powerful device that welcomes a brand new design, and it flaunts all of that with a ridiculously high price tag of $1,980. That’s what it starts at, so it’s possible, even likely, that the 5G variant is more expensive.
We’re now in the year of the $2,000 smart phone. Let’s all collectively cross our fingers and hope that Apple doesn’t get any ideas, yeah?
I want to be excited about the Galaxy Fold, but, as a consumer who oftentimes feels like Apple is trying to price me out of its ecosystem, a phone that costs that much isn’t even remotely in the realm of possibility for me. So I’ll watch it either succeed or fail on the internet, and I will come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably never see one in the wild, either. Samsung has made it clear that the Galaxy Fold is the “next big thing”, and it’s a sentiment shared by plenty of other companies out there, but I don’t think 2019 is going to be the year to kick things off. That won’t really happen until the price drops, and people actually decide to pick up a foldable phone as their daily driver.
The real problem is that it isn’t just Samsung that’s going to have a price tag serve as a gatekeeper. Motorola has plans to revitalize the RAZR brand with a foldable phone later this year, and that handset is rumored to cost around $1,500. Huawei has a foldable phone on the way, too, and despite the fact that this is a brand that’s known for not necessarily breaking the bank in smartphone price, I don’t see that being the case this time around.
These companies are going to be using the internet in much the same way that I am, with marketing and ad agencies working overtime to try and gauge how well the populace is responding to these devices. It would be great if hundreds of thousands of people ran out to buy these things right out of the gate, but I don’t see that happening.
So, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is ridiculously exciting, but that excitement is also fundamentally tempered right out of the gate by the price. What about you? How do you feel about that $1,980 price tag? Is it going to stop you, or even slow you down, from picking up the Galaxy Fold in April?