February 22, 2019 13:51
Samsung plans to roll out the world's first foldable 5G smartphone in Korea around the middle of May, according to the company's mobile chief Koh Dong-jin.
The Korean electronics giant on Wednesday unveiled the Galaxy Fold at a media event in San Francisco.
"We plan to launch 4G LTE products in the U.S. first and expand the number of countries," Koh said at the event. "But in Korea we'll launch a 5G model."
5G communication services start here next month, a world first, and Samsung hopes to sell at least 1 million 5G handsets this year.
Koh scoffed at skeptics who warned that it is too early to launch a foldable smartphone, saying they made the same predictions back in 2011 when Samsung rolled out the large-screen Galaxy Note, but the product was popular and ended up creating new demand.
"Samsung's smartphone business will grow as the Galaxy Fold draws new fans," he added.
The global press was near-unanimous in saying the gadget marks the first smartphone innovation in 10 years.
"It's hard to imagine how smartphones could get much better," the New York Times gushes. "For a peek at the future of the phone, look to Samsung."
But the price tag is a major turnoff. Samsung said the Galaxy Fold LTE model will cost US$1,980 and the 5G version W2.3 million to W2.4 million (US$1=W1,126).
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