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Apple vs. Samsung: What to expect from new iPhone, foldable Galaxy

Apple (AAPL) is set to unveil the iPhone 15 at a launch event on Tuesday, September 12, after Samsung (005930.KS) revealed its latest foldable smartphones, Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5. Yahoo Finance Tech Editor Dan Howley details the already tightening competition between the latest installments in the two signature smartphone brands and the differences in computer chips inside the devices.

Click here to see more of Yahoo Finance's coverage of the latest and greatest in technology and what is coming NEXT.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: So Samsung unveiling a foldable phone at its most recent event. Apple now set to debut the iPhone 15 next week in Cupertino. Dan Howley is back from South Korea joining us here in studio. And, Dan, my question to you is, that phone had a lot of questions going into it. It looks extremely impressive. How much more pressure does that then put on Apple at this stage?

DAN HOWLEY: I think at this point when it comes to foldables, it really comes down to the market share, right? We're still at a point where it's not a significant market share compared to the broader smartphone market, right? We still have most people buying traditional candy bar phones. I mean, I have my iPhone on me somewhere and it's a candy bar phone.

So I think that's what we're really looking for is when you get to that threshold of people who are buying up these devices-- admittedly, they're still very expensive. Like I said in the piece, $1,000 to start. You can get an iPhone for less than $1,000. It's not going to be a Pro. It will be a regular iPhone. But you're still getting something. And I think it's going to take time for the pricing for these to come down.

But while we were in South Korea, there were a number of briefings that we had with Samsung executives. And they said that's the goal is to bring the pricing of these down. And it's clear that Samsung wants these to be the top of the line devices for them. These are what they're pushing to consumers now and what they want people to buy. It's sure they have their main line Galaxy S series, but the foldables are what they want to represent Samsung going forward.

AKIKO FUJITA: We heard from Bob O'Donnell kind of touch on this in your piece, where he said with Apple, it is about finding the right manufacturer. And I wonder, when you think about where these trend lines have gone for smartphones, in many ways Samsung has always been first even if Apple has been about bringing this to the wider market.

How much of that stems from the fact that Samsung owns so much of its own stack? They have the display. They have the chips. They have the batteries. Apple doesn't have that.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. I mean, it's a great point. And I think that has a good deal to do with it. Apple obviously, they design things, but it's not their memory. It's, you know, they design the chip, but it's based on an Arm design. And it's manufactured by presumably TSMC. So as far as Samsung goes, their ability to do this kind of industrial design is incredible.

I think they're also more likely though, than Apple to simply take risks when it comes to design. The first foldable phones when they originally came out, they were basically panned by reviewers because they had issues with them, where the under-display would get dust in it. And it would pop up. And you would ruin the phone.

Some people thought that the display itself was one of those clear plastic covers that you peel off when you start using your phone. And it was part of the device and they just ripped it off and ripped off the main screen. So, you know, that left a sour taste in people's mouths.

And so that was part of the reason why we were over there, you got to assume why Samsung showed us why or how durable these devices are now. And I don't think Apple is willing to take risks along those lines.

Don't forget when they came out, Samsung came out with the first Galaxy Note years ago. Was one of the first big screen phones. People laughed at them. And now your iPhone is more than 6 inches, 6.7in if you have the larger variety. So they're willing to take the risks and take the hits, knowing that in the future, people will appreciate them and come forward. And then Apple says, OK, that works. We'll get on there and then they work their Apple magic and become huge sellers.

So, you know, according to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, they're working on that foldable iPad. We'll see if they eventually come out with a foldable iPhone. But I think it has to do a lot with the market share.

SEANA SMITH: Would you switch to playing around with your phone?

DAN HOWLEY: I didn't just spend $1,500 last year on a new Apple Watch and a new iPhone, yeah, I'd switch. But, you know, I mean, I was using the flip for a while and it's awesome. It's so cool to be able to just fold it down and then check out, OK, I was doing walking directions around Seoul. And I got to close it up. Just look at my map and then wander around. So it really is helpful. I think it's a great device. Battery life was cool.

But I just sunk too much money into this stuff now. So I got to wait.

SEANA SMITH: It's hard to get out of the Apple ecosystem when you're in it.


AKIKO FUJITA: I mean that's it, right? It's the ecosystem. I don't want to be that green text message.


AKIKO FUJITA: That's always--

SEANA SMITH: I don't want to go, Akiko.

AKIKO FUJITA: All right, Dan Howley, bringing us that story. Thanks so much for that.