Samsung foldable phone ‘potential challenge’ for Apple: Goldman Sachs

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Samsung senior vice president of product marketing Justin Denison speaks on stage about the new foldable phone during the Samsung Unpacked product launch event in San Francisco, California on February 20, 2019.

Samsung’s new foldable phone represents a challenge for Apple in the iPhone maker’s luxury device market, Goldman Sachs warned clients Wednesday.

The Galaxy Fold includes “a compelling form factor that only Samsung’s foldable OLED technology can deliver,” Goldman analyst Rod Hall told clients. “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.”

The latest gadget from Samsung has a special display that can fold open and be used like a tablet, marking the first announcement of a consumer-ready foldable smartphone. Samsung, which revealed the phone on Wednesday, said that the device can easily fit in a user’s hand like a traditional phone, but can expand to a larger size to watch videos.

Samsung’s unveil also came at a time when shoppers — and phone makers — are scrambling to find innovative new features to justify increased prices in the $1,000 range for high-end consumer products. Apple shares fell 0.1 percent in premarket trading Thursday following the Goldman Sachs note.

Apple shares have struggled are little changed over the last 12 months. The stock is up 9 percent this year, but still trailing the overall market.

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