Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Google’s Pixel Fold: A Serious Competitor to Samsung’s Foldable Phone Dominance

Seoul, May 13 (LatestNewsX.com): Samsung Electronics has long dominated the global foldable smartphone market, but it now faces a formidable competitor in Google. At its annual developer conference this week, Google unveiled its highly anticipated first foldable smartphone, the Pixel Fold. With preorders now available, the phone will begin shipping next month.

One of the most significant draws of the Pixel Fold, priced at $1,799, is its slim design, measuring only 12.1 millimeters, which is thinner than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is 15.8 mm thick, according to reports from Yonhap news agency.

The Pixel Fold boasts a 7.6-inch screen when open and comes with a 4,821 mAh battery, the largest in any foldable phone to date, surpassing Samsung’s 4,400 mAh battery. As a result, it weighs slightly more than Samsung’s phone at 283 grams, compared to 263 grams.

While Samsung faces increased competition in the foldable phone market, it can also expect a more diverse ecosystem and greater market adoption. Google has already optimized more than 50 of its own applications for the larger display of the Pixel Fold, and it intends to encourage other app developers to do the same.

Samsung has set a goal to make foldable phones, which first appeared in 2019, account for half of its total smartphone sales by 2025, along with becoming another pillar of the company alongside the Galaxy S flagship series, positioning them as a key category in the premium segment.

Last year, Samsung accounted for approximately 77% of worldwide foldable phone shipments, according to market researcher Canalys. However, the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects foldable phone shipments to surpass 21.4 million units this year, with more than a 50% increase from the previous year, driven by the growing interest of consumers in this new form factor. The figure could rise to 48.1 million units by 2027, driven by the “healthy demand for this growing form factor.”

The IDC’s latest report, published in March, also indicates that the foldable phone market could be a bright spot in 2023, with an expected growth rate of 50.5%, while the total smartphone market may contract 1.1%.

Foldable phones are not just about the new form factor and technological advancements, according to Choi Won-joon, the former head of the flagship product R&D team at Samsung’s mobile experience division. During a press briefing in Berlin on the sidelines of Europe’s biggest tech show, IFA 2022, he stated, “I believe we should give users unique and valuable experiences that they can’t get from any other smartphone.”

Samsung’s developers faced significant challenges in creating a compact and lightweight hinge without compromising its durability. After nearly a year of around 20 failed attempts, they eventually developed a new hinge system, dubbed the spiral hinge.

In contrast, Google’s hinge system allows both screen halves to fold entirely, without leaving any small gaps when closed. Google claims to have the most durable hinge, made of stainless steel, which has been tested for up to 200,000 openings and closings.

Samsung has yet to announce the release date of the Galaxy Z Fold 5. With the emergence of Google’s Pixel Fold, Samsung is poised to face more significant challenges, but competition could also lead to greater innovation, creativity, and a wider market adoption of foldable phones.

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