New Samsung handset: Do people really want or need a folding screen?

A model holds a Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone to her face, during a media preview event in London, Tuesday April 16, 2019. Samsung is hoping the innovation of smartphones with folding screens giving a large interactive space or smaller usual screen, reinvigorates the market. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)
photo The Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone is seen during a media preview event in London, Tuesday April 16, 2019. Samsung is hoping the innovation of smartphones with folding screens reinvigorates the market. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)

When Samsung said this year it would launch a smartphone with a folding screen, the big question was whether the innovation was something people actually wanted or needed.

Is the Galaxy Fold a gimmick to help sell more smartphones in a slowing market or a true breakthrough that will change how we use our devices?

Major manufacturers have in recent years been largely updating smartphones with marginal improvements like better cameras and face scanning technology, so skepticism has been high.

The South Korean electronics company this week offered the media a hands-on preview ahead of the release in the U.S.