Why Goldman Sachs sees Samsung folding phone as challenge to Apple

Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider:

In a note published on February 20, the firm called Samsung’s newly introduced $1,980 Galaxy Fold “the main potential challenge” for Apple in the ultra-high-end smartphone market. “In terms of competition for Apple we see the Fold as the main potential challenge in the ultra high-end with a compelling form factor that only Samsung’s foldable OLED technology can deliver in our opinion,” the note said.


“We see this as challenging for Apple who could find themselves with no access to the critical flexible OLED technology for which we believe Samsung has at least a two year lead over other display competitors.”


Although Samsung demonstrated the device on stage, it did not allow media attendees to try the Fold after the event, which Goldman also flagged as a cause for concern.

The issue here: Samsung controls the supply of foldable OLED displays. A two year lead is formidable.

Nick Heer, from this post:

During the unveiling, Samsung emphasized the Fold’s versatility in being able to transform from an ordinary smartphone into a tablet just by opening it up. But this device — and others like it — are bad phones, and worse tablets. Every shot of the closed phone looks like it’s begging to be unfolded; its display looks narrow, uncomfortable, and cramped. It seems far better in its tablet-like configuration, but it is at best a diet version of a tablet.

Though Samsung does have a significant and protected lead, the product niche is nowhere near established. If Apple sees foldables in their future, they’re no doubt working on building the technology with another vendor, and/or working on the mechanics of building a foldable OLED display themselves.