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Samsung's DJ Koh shows off the Galaxy Fold on Wednesday. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
When Samsung showed off its foldable smartphone Wednesday, there were some "oohs" and "aahs." But when the company announced the phone would start at $1980, the enthusiasm turned to groans and dropped jaws.
Why it matters: The announcement pushes the price of smartphones — or at least one phone — to previously unheard of altitudes, raising the question, "Just how high can smartphone prices go?"
The bottom line: A tiny fraction of folks will pay $2,000 or more for a smartphone provided it is significantly luxurious and makes them the coolest executive or celebrity in the room.
Flashback: In 2015, I predicted that Samsung had gone too far and that $900 would prove to be the high water mark for non-Apple phone prices.
Meanwhile, high-end phone prices have moved steadily upward in recent years even as the market has matured, with consumers showing plenty of appetite to pay up for larger screens and better cameras.
The Galaxy Fold raises other questions, too, including whether the world really needs a foldable phone. For the uninitiated, the Galaxy Fold consists of a smaller "cover screen" and then the big unfolding tablet-size one that appears when you open (aka unfold) the device.
While this effort is sleeker than past attempts, others have introduced devices that took a roughly similar approach with less advanced technology.
What's next: Expect more foldable devices, with Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo all in various stages of development.
Samsung's other big announcement Wednesday was the upgrade to its main smartphone line. The Galaxy S10 comes in four flavors: a small-screen S10e, the mainstream S10, a larger-screen S10+, and the Galaxy S10 5G, designed for the new cellular networks that are just coming online.
What we're seeing: After a couple of hours with the Galaxy S10+, I found that a number of aspects felt quite familiar — in a good way. Several of my favorite features on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro are also present on Samsung's new phones, including...
The bottom line: Most American consumers were never going to get their hands on the Huawei phone, so it's nice to see these features come to a device many people here will buy.
Watch the S10+ in action in this hands-on video.
Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
A coalition of groups are filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission Thursday alleging that Facebook violated children's privacy and unfairly pushed them to make purchases in applications hosted on its platform, Axios' David McCabe reports.
Why it matters: The filing adds another item on the FTC's long list of Facebook issues to investigate. The agency’s inquiry into the social network’s privacy practices, in light of an earlier settlement it reached with the company, became public after the Cambridge Analytica revelations a year ago.
Details: The organizations, including childhood media advocates Common Sense as well as other advocacy groups, are making two main charges...
ICYMI: The complaint follows the release of information about the purchases uncovered by Reveal, an investigative reporting outlet, through court documents in a case over the issue settled in 2016.
Apple is widely expected to move its Mac line to custom ARM-based chips in the coming years.
What we're hearing: Although the company has yet to say so publicly, developers and Intel officials have privately told Axios they expect such a move as soon as next year.
Why it matters: The move could give developers a way to reach a bigger market with a single app, although the transition could be bumpy. For Intel, of course, it would mean the loss of a significant customer, albeit probably not a huge hit to its bottom line.
Our thought bubble:
History lesson: Apple has already made several big shifts in the 25 year history of the Mac, moving from Motorola chips to PowerPC processors and then to Intel. It's also moved from the classic Macintosh operating system to the Unix-based Mac OS X.
1. Samsung-Instagram: As part of the Samsung launch on Wednesday, the company announced a partnership with Instagram that will see the Facebook-owned social network's technology integrated directly into the camera app.
2. Google reorg: As David scooped yesterday, Google is reorganizing its policy team.
3. Sony-Light: Computational photography startup Light is announcing a deal with Sony to bundle Light's technology for melding the images taken from multiple cameras with Sony's sensor technology. Light says the first devices are due out from phone makers later this year, but declined to say which brands are doing so.
Check out a "firefall" at Yosemite, when, as ABC News puts it, "the setting sun illuminates Horsetail Fall to make it glow like a cascade of molten lava."