We might finally know the official name of Samsung’s first foldable smartphone
We’ve been calling Samsung’s first foldable smartphone the Galaxy F most of the time, but that’s not going to be the commercial name of the product, a leaker just said. The phone will be called Galaxy Fold, a moniker we’ve seen thrown around in previous rumors about the phone. © Provided by Penske Media Corporation galaxy-f-infinity-flex-display-samsung-sdc18-6 Samsung’s foldable phone was in the making for a quite a few years, as the company kept demoing foldable displays at trade shows, without following through with a product launch.
Five years on from being acquired by Lenovo, Motorola believes it is well-placed to benefit from changing trends in the mobile market.
Lenovo hoped the combination of its own mobile business with that of Motorola would catapult it to near the top of the smartphone market, challenging the likes of Samsung and Apple.
However, integration proved tricky and Lenovo was leapfrogged by other Chinese companies like Oppo and Vivo, with Huawei establishing itself as the number three player. In a market characterised by saturation and decreasing brand loyalty, Lenovo’s initial ambitions were looking farfetched.
Huawei’s foldable Mate X just leaked, and it puts the Galaxy Fold to shame
Samsung made waves earlier this week by unveiling its Galaxy Fold smartphone at the Galaxy S10 launch event in California, giving us what many believe to be a glimpse into the future of smartphone design.
But things have changed over the past year. Motorola has narrowed its focus to specific segments of the market and specific territories, while Lenovo believes mobile can complement its strengths in PCs and servers as well as its plans to expand into solutions.
“We have done a great job at Motorola over the past 12 months as it’s the first time we’ve recorded a profit,” Antony Barounas, GM for Motorola in Europe explained. “In Europe, this is the first time we’re saying we’ll break even since we were bought by Lenovo. This is difficult in the mobile industry.
“We’ve focused on some markets … you don’t need to win everywhere, just in some places.”
A refreshed product portfolio in the form of the Moto G, Moto E and Motorola One has helped increase penetration and now the next step is to target mid-range segments while increasing the Average Selling Price (ASP) of its devices.
Oppo shows off its own foldable phone
It’s a lot like the Mate X
“Personally, I see three technology waves in the next two years. The first is the mid-segment will grow in Europe… a lot. I start to see consumers understanding they don’t need to pay €1000 for a phone.”
“With thethat’s what we are establishing more in the European business. We must be part of this technology wave.”
Increasing the ASP by targeting consumers who want more affordable devices might seem contradictory, but Barounas says there is room to work with as the increasing cost of premium handsets causes fatigue in the market.
“We are at an ASP of $155 in Europe,” he said in response to a question from TechRadar Pro. “[The mid-range segment] goes up to $300 so that is a big gap [for the Moto G line to exploit]. We’ve also introduced the Motorola One [range] which will be $200-400. This is a new segment.
“The Motorola One will not [target] the same consumer as the [Moto] G line and this will push the ASP up.”
Why Huawei's Mate X is the foldable phone to beat
Bigger screens and a slicker design on the Chinese device should have Samsung worried.
5G and the future
The second wave identified by Motorola is 5G – something that will hardly be a surprise to anyone who has roamed the exhibition floors of Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week.
“We are the only vendor who will introduce 5G in the next month with Verizon and we will drive 5G strongly in Europe,” said Barounas. “Every 10 years when the technology changes, we think the [dominant] companies will change.”
Motorola has released a 5G ‘mod’ for its Moto mod modular phone concept. This mod turns the Moto Z3 handset into a 5G device. While it’s technically not a proper 5G smartphone, Motorola says its engineers were able to focus solely on the 5G platform rather than the overall device.
“The Moto mod has helped us … Motorola is a Lenovo company with a strong heritage of innovation,” added Jeff Snow, who is GM for the Moto Z range. “We have a team in Chicago that has been around since 1G.
"When you talk about the range of spectrum offered for 5G, it’s more challenging than anything that’s come before [in terms of devices]. You have to be careful not compromise the consumer experience … consumers won’t adopt technology for the sake of being fast.”
“Understanding how many array modules are in a device so that you have a good signal no matter where you are.”
The return of RAZR
Finally, Barounas teased that Motorola was working on a foldable phone to challenge efforts from the likes of Samsung and Huawei. Naturally, this evokes memories of the, regarded as one of the most iconic mobile phone designs in history.
“The phones look the same [across the market],” he said. “It’s difficult to differentiate and show the consumer something different. And that’s where foldables will come in.”
“I’m not allowed to say a lot but … we can play a very strong position in the market.”
ZTE’s vision of a foldable phone looks nothing like what we saw at MWC.
Chinese smartphone maker ZTE has previously patented a design for a horizontally folding tablet-like device, and it now it seems the brand may also be considering a foldable display for use in an upcoming smartphone design. A new patent filing has been published suggesting as much and is already leading to speculation that whatever ZTE ultimately moves forward with could end up going head-to-head with the forthcoming Motorola RAZR once it’s released.