Samsung Galaxy Fold release dates confirmed for key global markets
Will foldable form factors revolutionize the stagnant smartphone industry, helping global shipments rise again after a pretty bad year by opening up new multitasking possibilities and creating innovative use cases essentially endangering the existence of conventional tablets? Perhaps, but not right away.
One of the main reasons why foldable mobile devices are unlikely to take off in their first generations is how few of these phones we expect to actually see in stores by the end of the year. Samsung, which has been famously working on the Galaxy Fold for the better part of a decade, vaguely promised an initial production run of "at least" a million units back in November.
While it's unclear if the plan still stands or if any sort of upwards or downwards revision has taken place since then, the company was reportedly looking at a monthly mass manufacturing pace of around 100,000 of these versatile devices last time we picked up some media chatter on the topic. In contrast, Galaxy S10 production is estimated to exceed 3 million units every month, with total sales of 10 million projected for this month alone.
Nonetheless, Samsung has vowed to make the Galaxy Fold a globally available product straight off the bat, and after announcing a US release date at last month's big Unpacked event, the world's largest smartphone vendor has some good, concrete news to deliver to its European fans today.
Save the dates - April 26 and May 3
That's right, you're only a month or so away from being able to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Fold on the old continent. In parts of the old continent, that is, as 15 countries across Europe are looking at April 26 online pre-orders, followed by May 3 in-store availability. That's a pretty decent turnaround for such a unique, challenging, and seemingly flawed device, which is thus scheduled to see daylight within less than three months of its formal announcement in at least 16 global markets. 17 if we count Korea, which will definitely be among the first (if not the very first) country to commercially support one of the world's first foldable phones.
By the way, April 26 is also when we expect the Galaxy Fold to arrive stateside, although it's not altogether clear if there will be any sort of gap between US pre-orders and actual sales. What we do know is brick and mortar stores are unlikely to carry a lot of physical inventory, while AT&T and T-Mobile are expected to beat Verizon and Sprint to the punch in terms of carrier support.
In the absence of a list of European wireless service providers slated to partner with Samsung for the highly anticipated release of the Galaxy Fold, you'll need to settle for the country lineup for now. That includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. If you live around those places, you'll want to keep an eye on major carriers and Samsung's regional e-stores in a few weeks.
The Galaxy Fold won't come cheap
That's probably the understatement of the year, but you have to keep in mind this is truly a one-of-a-kind device (which also goes for the Huawei Mate X) with not one, but two beautiful AMOLED screens in tow, including a 7.3-inch giant, as well as state-of-the-art internal specifications like a Snapdragon 855 processor (no Exynos compromises here, it seems), a whopping 12GB RAM, and 512 gigs of internal storage space.
Considering the Galaxy S10+ costs $1,250 in a variant packing 8 gigs of memory and 512GB local digital hoarding room, the Galaxy Fold is not that overpriced at $1,980. You may not even have to sell your good kidney to afford this flexible powerhouse. All joking aside, we expect European prices to start around the €2,000 mark due to VAT and other taxes, roughly equating to an even harder to swallow $2,260. Then again, the aforementioned 512 gig Galaxy S10+ configuration normally fetches the equivalent of $1,450 on the old continent.
Also, can you really put a price on bragging rights and the satisfaction to be a super-early adopter of a potentially game-changing device?