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That just seems gimmicky at best IMO. No ecosystem. I expect it will sell for 2-3 years and then die off and have them lose money on it. What type of niche market actually needs a phone that can display 3 apps at once and fold down to a brick sized phone?

It's good that companies take these leaps of fate but they sort of seem reaching.

Why not wait and keep pushing the tech until it's worth releasing a beautiful product that can capture actual market share?




>No ecosystem.

The ecosystem is Android. The vast majority of apps should work just fine, even on a display with an unusual aspect ratio.


Android is working on OS-level support for folding displays. This one's early, and will have limited support from apps, but I don't think the category will die as a gimmick. It has genuine utility, it's just been a technological hurdle. Personally, I'll wait another couple years for Apple to refine it a bit.

Also, the smartphone market has started saturating and device makers are clamoring for a feature - any feature - that will get people to buy new ones. This has resulted in lots of little useless features as they attempt to differentiate, but here we have an actually super useful feature which is costly to implement and will induce real gadget-envy for the first time in years. So there's going to be a gold rush behind it.


If they are working from the OS side that’s perfect. But I Im no way expecting to see anything but the most important apps have useful multi-app-in-screen interactions. Yeah YouTube, FB, Search, w/e but will that make it worth it?

Sort of like the Touch Bar on MacBook Pros (which I have). Yeah it’s awesome to have on select apps like Photoshop, Safari, etc but it’s in no way so valuable as to build a whole product around - like this phone is trying to do.

You can take the Touch Bar away from me at any moment and I won’t mind.

Unless apps deeply integrate with this folding capability etc its just a gimmick that I expect will die pretty quick or remain a very niche product.


> useful multi-app-in-screen interactions.

I use multiapp all the time on my current phone. I love it. Android makes it easy to move in and out of multiapp mode, swiping the separator when you want to go back to full screen. Many android apps already support this feature.

This is the same thing, except with a larger screen & different panel arrangement.


The only specialized support it really needs has less to do with folding and more to do with toggling between two different screens without problems and while maintaining context, which they already seem to have nailed. Everything beyond that is just building on things that are already relevant for normal tablets, like multitasking.


I agree that this looks a bit early, but it also seems like a genuinely useful innovation if it can be pulled off.

It reminds me a lot of the first MacBook Airs that sold to a niche market at a premium for a few years until the technology had advanced to the point that they could target a mainstream price point, at which point they became exceedingly popular.

I could easily see the same thing happening here.


> a genuinely useful innovation

I agree. The writing is on the wall... people are ditching desktop computers in droves in favour of handheld/portable devices.

Just as I usually do with any new V1.0 tech... I'm staying away, but am excited about future improvements!


I want a phone that I can read books on, and spend quality time with, rather than reading crappy stuff like Twitter. I fully expect to buy a foldable (not sure which one) and would easily pay $2500+ for it.

(It's not like I can buy laptops any more, since those are all garbage even when I pay $4000 for a supposedly high-end system, so I certainly have spare device money laying around!)


All laptops are garbage huh, that's a hot take.


The macbook and it's 3+ year butterfly keyboard debacle or windows 10 laptops with all of their spyware even when high end being his only 2 practical choices is what he is probably referring to.


Kindles are cheap and light, if digital reading is your goal.


I often read PDF versions of books (especially technical books) or PDFs of academic papers etc

I've never been able to view these properly on a kindle. Well, last time I tried anyway, is it better now?


A foldable phone would be great for PDFs. I often want to flip between pages quickly, which Kindles still can't do.


Sony DPT-RP1.


Kobo Aura One seems to be the right size for your use case.


Yep, I'm currently reading my EPUBs and PDFs on an ancient iPad 3. I researched a newer solution and settled on a Kobo Aura One (or perhaps the Forma which came out only recently) running the open-source KOReader [0], which is apparently much better than the built-in app on the Kobos. But I'm too cheap to upgrade while the iPad still works.

[0] http://koreader.rocks


I have an Aura One that I love (probably around 2k hours of use on it), but the PDF experience (of anything that can't be converted to epub anyway) is not good.


Kindles are not phones, the parent said "I want a phone that I can read books on, and spend quality time with..."

A foldable phone may meet his criteria, a Kindle would not.


Right ... the point is, I can do higher-quality reading without carrying extra devices around.


How do you access the kindle when you're not at home?


Based on the voting pattern at this point, I think several people may have misunderstood his last comment. He is the original person to post in support of a better phone based reading experience, not the Kindle advocate. So he prefers to carry one device, and uses his phone to read.


Yeah, I'll admit I didn't notice that. My apologies.


And it does‘t have any distractions on it. When I‘m reading on my phone I always get distracted by messages or googling something.

Most of my books are still physical books. It‘s weird but I often buy books based on their cover.


Apple's phones are now faster than their laptops. I think it makes sense to have a folding computer, especially now that we have screen tech that enables it.


*For very limited workloads - And those synthetic geekbench scores don't really count


Try JS Octane benchmarks then. Or how do YOU benchmark devices?

The real bottleneck is UI, not CPU's.


It isn't so much about the benchmark one uses. A CPU converts electricity to heat, and does computation as a side-effect. A CPU embedded in a laptop (or moreover, a desktop) is going to be able to convert more electricity into more heat — and more computation — by virtue of being able to better dissipate the heat due to having a larger surface area to do it over. (In addition to having active cooling — vents and fans — which I've yet to see on a phone.)

Modern non-phone CPUs can have TDPs of more than 80W. If your phone did 80W, it would burn your hand. So, forgive me if I'm skeptical of any benchmark that says a phone outperforms a laptop.

You're arguing that the phone CPU can get significantly better performance, do so with less power, and occupy a form factor smaller than what a laptop requires? Why would I not just manufacture a less space-constrained version of this chip (to make it cheaper) and stick it in a laptop?

I Googled the specific benchmark you referenced. I'm not able to find results on it, but one of the top hits was this: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/googl...


Why do you think Apple is bringing iOS apps to Mac? ARM MacBook is inevitable (unless they switch to AMD).


That's likely a 35W CPU and I'd bet it won't even be close in performance to current laptop standard i5 or Ryzen. Maybe it can keep up with the ULV versions. ARM is good at power saving, not performance.


*For very limited workloads


> Apple's phones are now faster than their laptops.

Kind of like how a plane is faster than a car. You're trading off some flexibility for that added speed.


I agree this first-gen product is worth skipping, but given that many people spend probably 20% of their waking hours looking at their phone screen, it seems short sighted to me to argue that a 2x boost in screen size is merely a gimmick.


>given that many people spend probably 20% of their waking hours looking at their phone screen

This sounds like punishment to me.


Early products using cutting edge tech probably often seem gimmicky, but I think it would be short sided to dismiss the whole concept due to that.

Hopefully enough early adopters buy this thing so that they keep iterating and improving on these. It's easy to see how a phone with a folding screen would be desirable to a lot of people... if it were thinner and cheaper. The first foldable phone is probably not going to be a great product, maybe not even the first 10 of them. In 5 years maybe they'll be great though.


It has status value that other phone style devices do not have. I am not into showing off with fancy watches, shoes and having to have the latest iPhone but I understand plenty of people are.

Now there are lots of people that could benefit from this because you can have bigger letters on the screen. So it is far from a vanity product, like the latest and greatest iPhone it does have genuine utility.

There is also a class of people who are vastly richer than everyone else, you see them drive in stupidly expensive cars. For this type of customer the $$$$ of this gadget is not a consideration.

This gadget won't be 'displaying three apps at a time' any more than your desktop has three windows open side by side on it. It matters not about the keyboard, this is for consuming content with big type. Everyone has a regular phone already, this will sell well as soon as they can get the production volume up.


I think it's a good experiment to learn what users really want and what problems may come up with the device.


> Why not wait and keep pushing the tech until it's worth releasing a beautiful product that can capture actual market share?

I can only speak for myself, but I have been waiting. Since 2011, to be precise, which is when Sanyo and I believe Sony came out with 4.3 inch phones that folded out into 7-inch tablets.

If there's any company that can invest properly in this form factor, it's Samsung, so I'm glad they're doing this.

Certainly not going to buy it at that price point though!




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