Get ready for a busy week of Samsung news. On Tuesday, the company will share more details about its as preorders for the foldable begin. Then on Wednesday, it will unveil news it normally would have introduced at the IFA trade show in Berlin.
Instead of attending this year’s scaled-down-for-coronavirus IFA show, Samsung has opted to host its own events. It will hold a livestream at 7 a.m. PT Tuesday to talk about the new foldable. Then at 1 a.m. PT Wednesday, it will hold a “Life Unstoppable” virtual event to discuss more of its products.
The South Korean electronics giant said in late June it wouldn’t attend the Berlin conference, which is taking place in the midst of the. In a normal year, Samsung typically introduces its mobile devices at its Unpacked event and then uses IFA to unveil home appliances and give more specifics about its new products. Last year, it and launched its first .
On Aug. 5, Samsung introduced its new foldable device, earbuds, theand other devices at a virtual Unpacked event.
At that event, the company said it would use its Sept. 1 event to share more details about the. The company unveiled its updated foldable, fixing one of the biggest issues in the first generation: the front display. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 sports a screen that stretches across the front of the phone, giving it a flashier and more modern design. Samsung also redesigned the hinge, added 5G for Verizon and AT&T and made other refinements to improve the Fold.
It hasn’t released price yet or said when it will be in buyer’s hands. That information will come Sept. 1.
The novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 24 million people around the globe, has caused companies to rethink their product launches. , the world’s biggest mobile show, a week before journalists were set to arrive in Barcelona, Spain, in late February.
Instead of in-person phone launches over the past six weeks , Apple, Huawei and OnePlus have all hosted digital events or introduced devices via press release. Apple in June instead of gathering thousands of app makers in California, and companies like Google and Facebook have opted to scrap their developers conferences this year.
The Z Fold 2 and other devices come at a tough time for the mobile industry. Last year’s new innovations of 5G and foldable screens were supposed to get cheaper and more readily available in 2020, giving consumers a reason to upgrade. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic has been battering phone sales as consumers opt to save their money or spend it on PCs and other work-from-home supplies. Millions of Americans are out of work amid a recession, more than 700,000 people have died worldwide and countries around the globe continue to battle unending infections.
Sitting out IFA
In late April, the organizers behind IFA said the Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon signed on as one of the first of this year’s keynote speakers.. A month later, they said but wouldn’t be open to the public like it normally is. IFA also plans to allow a maximum of 1,000 people to attend each section of the event each day.
But things have changed since May. The European Union reopened borders but, at least for now. The virus is surging in parts of the US and had a flareup in Beijing. Samsung may be the first huge company to pass on IFA this year, but it’s unlikely to be the last.
While IFA typically doesn’t have as much big news as CES (held each January in Las Vegas) or MWC, it’s a major show for electronics makers, especially those selling home appliances and computers. There’s also typically some mobile news at IFA. And last year saw the debut of first OLED TV with Amazon Alexa built-in, among other news.
Samsung used to play a major role at IFA, introducing its newest Note phones, Galaxy watches and other products at the show. In recent years, Samsung has opted to host its own Unpacked event in the US to introduce its new mobile devices, but has still taken over an entire hall at the Messe in Berlin and has hosted press events throughout the week.
“While Samsung will not be participating in IFA 2020, we look forward to our continued partnership with IFA in the future,” a spokeswoman said in late June.
Like all tech conferences, IFA is also a key place for company executives to meet and strike deals with one another. That includes partnerships for retailers or carriers to offer devices and companies to work together on technology. The in-person meetings are key for smaller companies that don’t have sales teams or the money to travel across the globe to strike deals.
IFA also normally opens its convention halls to the public. Last year’s show had nearly 2,000 exhibitors, and there are usually around 200,000 attendees.
The organizers of CES, the huge electronics show held each year in Las Vegas, but in late July said .