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Samsung launches new foldable phone

SEOUL: Samsung unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone and a new version of its foldable phone, the Z Fold 2, as the smartphone market begins to recover from its coronavirus slump.
Samsung launched its previous premium model, the S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then has lost its top ranking in the smartphone market to China’s Huawei as people opted for cheaper models.
The Z Fold 2 has a 6.2-inch screen when folded to provide a full smartphone experience even when it is closed, Samsung announced during a live-streamed event. Its unfolded display measures 7.6 inches.
Samsung said the new iteration is thinner than the first Fol, and the hinge is improved to be more resilient. Samsung did not disclose the phone’s price but said more details and preorders will be available on 1st September.
The new Note 20 boasts a larger screen at 6.7 inches, 5G connectivity, enhanced writing features with its S-Pen stylus, and access to more than 100 games via a tie-up with Xbox cloud service.
It will go on sale on 21st August in about 70 countries, including the United States, where the basic version will retail for $999, compared with its predecessor’s $949.
Analysts said Apple users are unlikely to jump ship to the new Samsung model as the 5G iPhone is likely to be launched later this year.
Samsung posted a 29 percent on-year drop in shipments in the June quarter, the biggest fall among top vendors.
Apple, which launched the budget-friendly iPhone SE during the period, remained resilient with 11 percent on-year shipment growth, while Huawei posted only a five percent fall.
The global smartphone market shrank about 16% on-year in the April-June quarter due to COVID-19 lockdowns and consumer caution and is expected to improve only slightly in the second half.
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