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Clash of the titans: Samsung Galaxy Fold, LG V50S to debut at IFA

Huawei to challenge Samsung with its foldable phone; Apple with 11 Series after IFA week

Global smartphone makers are anticipated to go head-on in September, with some strategically unveiling their latest models at the annual trade show, the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2019, from Sept. 6 to 11 in Berlin, Germany.

LG Electronics announced that it will introduce its new dual-screen smartphone V50S at the annual consumer electronics show, while industry watchers predict Samsung Electronics is likely to display its foldable phone Galaxy Fold for consumers to experience it firsthand.

According to a teaser video LG released earlier this week, V50S ThinQ will have a frontal notification screen that allows users to check notifications without having to open the closed screens. Furthermore, the phone will be equipped with “free-stop hinges” that lock the screens in various angles for optimal use.

LG Electronics’ teaser for the smartphone for IFA 2019 (LG Electronics)
LG Electronics’ teaser for the smartphone for IFA 2019 (LG Electronics)

The V50S ThinQ will support 5G network connections domestically, but only support 4G in overseas markets. The overseas name for the phone is also different -- G8X.

As for Samsung, the company will complete its 5G device lineup in September with the launch of its Galaxy Fold, next to the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.

Both Samsung and its smaller Chinese competitor Huawei Technologies said they would unveil their foldable phones in September for the European market.

Industry watchers suspect the firms are highly likely to make use of the occasion in Berlin to showcase how they have improved on the beta versions of their next-generation phones.

Samsung’s foldable phone was introduced to the public for the first time at its “Unpacked” event in San Francisco, US, in February, alongside Galaxy S10.

The company originally intended to commercially launch the phone in April in the US, but postponed the plan after the prototypes showed faults in the screen protection film, the uppermost layer of the screen. 

Samsung Galaxy Fold (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Galaxy Fold (Samsung Electronics)

The improved version now has the top layer stretch under the bezel and has additional protection caps, as well as another metal layer behind the display to block any debris from entering the phone.

It will be the first time that the company will allow customers to touch and feel the phone at IFA 2019. The phone was not displayed at the Unpacked event, and at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that same month, it was shown inside a sealed glass box.

If Samsung unveils Galaxy Fold at IFA, Huawei, which had also delayed its foldable phone Mate X‘s launch in an apparent consideration of Samsung’s move, is expected to make a similar strategy to counter its rival, an industry source said.

Apple, which will not participate in IFA 2019, is also expected to join the smartphone battle with the release of iPhone 11 series, on the heels of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 launch. IPhone 11, iPhone Pro, iPhone 11R, which support long-term evolution connection, are anticipated to be introduced in the second week of September and will be released in the following week.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (