Samsung’s foldable smartphone will go up for pre-sale April 15, but only for early sign ups

Samsung on Thursday announced that beginning Friday, customers interested in buying its new foldable Galaxy Fold phone will be able to sign up on Samsung.com for updates on the new phone.

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Folks who sign up to receive these updates will be able to “join the private pre-order beginning April 15,” Samsung told CNBC in a statement. That’s ahead of Samsung’s April 26 launch date and, for people who really want the next-generation phone, is the best bet to get it on release day.

The Galaxy Fold was announced in February and will cost $1,980. It is one of the first foldable phones to come to market, but is a milestone in mobile technology, since it allows the device to function a bit like a traditional smartphone and a tablet when it’s unfolded.

Consumers have gravitated away from expensive devices that don’t offer big hardware changes over what they already own. While the mass market may not jump to buy a $1,980 phone, the Galaxy Fold is a good example of where technology is heading and how device makers may change phones to make them more attractive to buyers who haven’t found enough must-have features to upgrade to new devices.

It’s a form factor that’s also being offered by Huawei, through its Mate X device, which was also announced in February. Since Samsung provides displays to other manufacturers like Apple, it is plausible that other device makers will eventually adopt this form factor, and at lower price points as the technology matures.

Samsung also said it will launch the Galaxy S10 5G, a special version of the Galaxy S10 that works on new 5G networks, beginning in May. Pre-orders for that phone will also begin “soon,” the company said. Verizon has the exclusive on the Galaxy S10 5G until later in the second half pf the year, when AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will also begin selling the Galaxy S10 5G. However, Verizon’s 5G network is extremely limited right now.

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