February 22, 2019
After Samsung unveiled its revolutionary phone that’s pretty much like their Samsung S9 model but with more screens, more cameras, more RAM, and more batteries, some people are having second thoughts about its price and design.
Samsung mesmerized tech junkies around the world on Wednesday when it debuted its long-awaited $1,980 Galaxy Fold smartphone.
But for many, the radical flexible Fold device may prove to be out of reach, given its astronomical price tag.
The device is priced at a premium thanks to its custom-designed bendable display, whopping six cameras, two batteries and other high-end components under the hood.
And while Samsung admitted the nearly $2,000 Galaxy Fold isn’t for everyone, that didn’t stop internet users from taking the firm to task for the cost of its ‘premium luxury device.’
Several Twitter users who were at the Unpacked event in San Francisco reported there was an ‘audible groan’ when Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold’s price tag.
People are also making fun of the fact that the Galaxy Fold looks like two phones taped together. The thing is thick as a brick, and looks like one when folded too.
Prior to the Fold’s unveiling, tech experts and consumers alike complained about Apple’s ever-increasing iPhone prices.
Typically, Apple increases each subsequent iPhone model by about $100 per year, but last year it made a jump of $230, revealing the $1,099 iPhone XS Max one year after debuting the $999 iPhone X.
The move was a shock to even the most loyal Apple consumers.
Now, many are bristling over Samsung raising the price point even higher with the $1,980 Galaxy Fold.
And if the Galaxy Fold’s eye-watering price tag isn’t enough, some users are likely to be further put off by the fact that Samsung decided to omit a headphone jack from the device.
Taking a page from Apple, which ‘courageously’ took away the 3.5mm headphone jack in the iPhone 7, Samsung has now done the same with the Galaxy Fold.
This means users can no longer use a standard pair of headphones with the device and, instead, must purchase wireless Bluetooth headphones or a pair that connects to a Lightning port.
Samsung famously mocked Apple for removing the headphone jack in a 2017 advertisement called ‘Ingenious: Dongle,’ where a fake Apple employee explained to a customer that they’d need a ‘double dongle’ if they wanted to charge their phone and listen to music at the same time.
$2,000 and they removed the headphone jack. Okay. Keep in mind Samsung was probably the only big phone producer whose flagships still rocked the headphone jack.
They mentioned they were going for the “status symbol” thing Apple does, so I guess it makes sense in a twisted kind of way.
The smartphone market right now is a toxic bugmen paradise. Hardware used in 2015 phones is still good today for most people, and the biggest aging factors are batteries and internal storage. Camera hardware hasn’t really improved much, and the biggest gains — such as those from Google’s Pixel camera — come from the software.
Most people could easily squeeze about 5 years of everyday use out of their smartphones if only batteries would hold for that long, which is a big part of the reason why smartphone makers decided to go for non-removable batteries (and why Apple released software updates to purposefully drain the batteries of older phones). They don’t want people giving extra years of life to their phones by just buying a new battery.
Think of all the perfectly functional phones that are thrown away each year just because newer models came along. Think about all that wasted hardware.
Wouldn’t it be better for the planet and for ourselves to make smartphones that could be repaired and upgraded?
There’s been some attempts at that, such as the Fairphone.
From the Fairphone website:
We’ve created the world’s first ethical, modular smartphone. You shouldn’t have to choose between a great phone and a fair supply chain.
But they haven’t picked up much steam.
What we have right now are phones being sold as disposable devices that you can use for some months or a year before you’re expected to just throw it in the trash can and move on to the newer model.
It’s not sustainable.
Sooner or later, that business model will have to change, and seeing how the Galaxy Fold may flop, that moment may come sooner rather than later.