Apple needed a kick in the pants. Samsung just delivered it

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Samsung sent a clear message to the world this week with the debut of several bold new products: Innovation isn’t dead.

As smartphone sales stall due largely to slower upgrade cycles, manufacturers must try even harder to inspire consumers to trade in existing devices for newer models.

Samsung (SSNLF) spent the better part of its “Unpacked” press event on Wednesday showing off shiny gadgets, including the Galaxy Fold smartphone that morphs into a tablet, in an attempt to convince consumers the future is bright for both smartphone innovation and the company itself.

But now the pressure is on rival Apple (AAPL) to respond.

“Samsung has made Apple look bad,” Canalys analyst Ben Stratton told CNN Business. “Galaxy Fold is a great marketing tool. It paints Samsung as cutting-edge and innovative, and as a consequence, makes its rivals look slow.”

At $1,980, the Galaxy Fold will likely be a niche product that won’t give Samsung a major sales bump out of the gate. But analysts say it’s a reminder that Apple hasn’t brought the “wow” factor in quite awhile.

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