Samsung shows off new square-folding phone

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Samsung shows off new square-folding phone

Samsung Electronics  has unveiled a new design for a smartphone that folds into a square.

The company's first folding phone, the Galaxy Fold, just yesterday became available to purchase in Australia, at $2,999. Telstra offered it at $124.95 a month on two-year plans. Optus has bundled it into a $150/month plan over 36 months.

Now Samsung has teased  a new folding concept at the Samsung Developer Conference 2019 in the United States.

"The amazing thing with the foldable technology is that it can also become more compact like this," said Sally Hyesoon Jeong, head of Framework R&D Group at Samsung's mobile communications, showing the mock-up on a screen behind her.

The world's largest smartphone maker is powering ahead with the launch of 5G phones and $3,000 foldable handsets as it battles rivals Apple and Huawei  in an increasingly saturated market.

Its new design enables the device to fold in half horizontally.

"This brand new form factor we are now exploring not only easily fits in your pocket but it also changes the way you use the phone," Jeong said.

China's Huawei started taking orders last week in China for its eagerly awaited foldable smartphone, hoping to make up for weak overseas sales amid U.S. trade sanctions.

Samsung did not provide details about when the square-folding phone would be launched.

"While we can't comment on future products, Samsung is committed to pioneering the foldable category, including investing in the development of new form factors," Samsung said in a statement to Reuters.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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