Samsung's foldable smartphone will be available for preorder Monday, but only for people who sign up early — here's how to get in line

Key Points
  • Samsung says people who sign up to learn more about the Galaxy Fold on Friday will be able to order it next week, ahead of the April 26 release date.
  • Samsung's Galaxy Fold ushers in a new era of phones that can unfold to reveal larger screens and act like a tablet.
The Galaxy Fold in tablet mode.

Samsung said Thursday that people who sign up to learn more about its new foldable phone on Friday will be able to order it next week, ahead of the April 26 release date.

Those who sign up on for information about the Galaxy Fold on Friday are eligible to preorder it on Monday, the company said. It's the best bet for people to get the next-generation phone on release day.

The Galaxy Fold in phone mode.

The Galaxy Fold was announced in February and will cost $1,980. It is one of the first foldable phones to come to market and is a milestone in mobile technology, since it allows the device to function a bit like a traditional smartphone and a tablet when it's unfolded.

Consumers have gravitated away from expensive devices that don't offer big hardware changes over what they already own. While the mass market may not jump to buy a $1,980 phone, the Galaxy Fold is a good example of where technology is heading and how device makers may change phones to make them more attractive to buyers who haven't found enough must-have features to upgrade.

Galaxy Fold

It's a form factor that's also being offered by Huawei through its Mate X device, which was also announced in February. Since Samsung provides displays to other manufacturers like Apple, it is plausible that other device makers will eventually adopt this form factor, and at lower prices as the technology matures.

Samsung also said it will launch the Galaxy S10 5G, a special version of the Galaxy S10 that works on new 5G networks, beginning in May. Preorders for that phone will also begin "soon," the company said. Verizon has the exclusive on the Galaxy S10 5G until later in the second half of the year, when AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will also begin selling the Galaxy S10 5G. However, Verizon's 5G network is extremely limited right now.

Samsung unveils first foldable smartphone