More Galaxy Z Fold 2 info is officially coming at another Samsung Unpacked on Sept. 1
Preorders for Samsung's newest foldable also start that day.
Shara TibkenFormer managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Get ready for a busy week of Samsung news. On Tuesday, the company will share more details about its new Galaxy Z Fold 2 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
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 coronavirus pandemic. 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 shared information about its Galaxy Fold and launched its first lower priced 5G smartphone.
On Aug. 5, Samsung introduced its new foldable device, earbuds, the Galaxy Note 20 and 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 Galaxy Z Fold 2. 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 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.
But things have changed since May. The European Union reopened borders but blocked American travelers, 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.
Samsung used to play a major role at IFA, introducing its newest Note phones,
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.