Samsung has unveiled a new range of Galaxy S10 mobile devices as it bids to recover market share lost to cheaper rivals in the last 12 months.
The South Korean firm’s new lineup features a 5G phone, a foldable phone that morphs into a tablet, and a smartphone that can charge another smartphone when sandwiched together.
Most notable is the $1,980 Galaxy Fold, a 4.6 inch-smartphone that can open up into a 7.3-inch tablet. It allows three windows to be open at the same time – so concert-goers could scan a ticket while texting and watching their favourite band on YouTube.
“We are creating a new dimension for your phone and your life,” a Samsung spokesperson told reporters at a launch event in San Francisco.
“It doesn’t even define a new category; it defies a new category.”
The S10 5G model is the first mainstream device to run on the 5G wireless networks that will be available in some markets later this year.
The move is tipped to give Samsung a head start in early 5G markets, such as South Korea and China, and pit itself as an innovation leader. The first Apple 5G iPhone is not expected until the final quarter of 2020.
The new S10 phones have improved battery and efficiency with battery life extended to 24 hours from one charge. These long-lasting devices can also charge other phones – including iPhones – placed on top of them – perfect for fans at a concert who are running out of power.
Samsung’s launch comes after the company and long-standing rival Apple lost ground to Huawei during 2018.
Research firm Gartner dubbed 2018 ‘the year of Huawei’ after it achieved the highest growth out of the top five smartphone manufacturers. Strong sales in China and Europe boosted its rise.
Huawei’s smartphone market share climbed to 15% in the three months ending in December, up 4% from a year before.
Gartner said Samsung had lost share year-on-year, slipping by around 5% as its Galaxy S9 and Note9 handsets failed to drive sales.