I buy they're prototyping it, but launching? That's a long shot. The tech is nowhere near ready for them yet.
They're extremely fragile, the screens have weird artifacts near the fold, water resistance is awful, scratch resistance is awful, usability sucks.
Physics really doesn't want you to build a foldable smartphone, and in any case it's mostly a gimmick. The UX is not better, it's arguably worse.
That’s the kind of statement Apple would use in its presentations, just before they would reveal that they built it anyway.
The crease in the fold should be non-existent: no color bleeding, no weird reflections, it must be a perfectly flat screen. Apple extremely picky about image quality.
Also, water and dust resistance must be amazing.
They already sold a phone with a folded screen before (iPhone X has a fold at the bottom to hide control lines), so they may be looking at the tech with a different use case in mind.
For example I could see them looking at foldable screen tech to make the bezel disappear (iPhone X screen trick, but taken to the extreme).
Picture an iPad/iPhone which is just a perfectly flat piece of screen, no bezel (or a very thin one), no notch, no edge aberrations (like the curved screens some smartphones have). Essentially Job's vision.
How do the ergonomics of a foldable phone work out? I assume it’s generally optimized for bigger screen capability in a phablet mode, but would it make sense to have it fold to become more portable like a flip phone?
Do the phones become more fragile from drops or subject to scratching due to having screen on both front and back? (Edit: Looking at the Samsung Fold, the main screen is actually inside the fold, so maybe not?)
I’m not quite sure of the use case for these devices really.
That's what the new Motorala Razr is.
It was launched more than 2 years ago. Shouldn't be hard to check how it went.
The Galaxy Z line just went from "expensive gimmick" to "the future of phones"
iPads have continued to advance and take market share while other options seem to die off due to lack of public interest.
ipad market share is around 30%, and that with Google and Samsung doing their best to ignore this market:
(Funny thing, "iPad" is autocorrected to "I pad" on my tablet, I think Samsung is playing dirty tricks)
These two reports measure different things (I assume it's something like actual sales vs web traffic) but they are not that far apart: 31.6% vs 36.5% market share for ipad.
But I guess it's clear, the iFoldPhones will sell a lot more units than the Samsung ones and Samsung will still earn that supplier money, and when Apple announces it, it'll be advertisement for Samsung's own fold phones for people who prefer Android.
The division that manufactures the displays wants them to be as ubiquitous as possible, since they're looking to sell as many screens as they can.
A properly-implemented folding phone that is 8 inches open but pocket-able when folded will get quite a bit of interest.
I see a strong incentive to make crazy, interesting, far-into-the-future predictions in order to increase ad click revenue.
Current gen iPhones already don't sit flat on a table because the rear camera modules are too thick, this is typically solved via a [required] case. But with a folding phone the two halves must have symmetrical depth and building cases for a folding phone itself is complex.
So either the new phone would need to be thick enough for a flat back w/camera module (which would make the whole phone incredibly thick), they need a new thinner module (but with optical sacrifices?), or a case that can hide the imbalance (but again, thickness).
A lot of companies have tried to make folding phones with mixed successes but keeping a GOOD camera seems to be a hurdle. Cameras really benefit greatly from depth, physics doesn't care about your design goals.
PS - What happened to Lytro's IP after they went under? I know staff went to work at Google, but the underlying technology/IP must be owned by someone.
I wonder why they feel this way, foldable hasn’t exactly been a home run for Samsung.
I have a Tile that I’ve used for a few years now and I’ve stopped relying on it because it simply doesn’t work. I could care less about the social network, just the super basic “tell it to make my keys make noise because they’re in a 20ft radius of me.”
I got an AirTag last week and it actually works. Every time. From the two furthest corners of my apartment and buried in my closet. It really is crazy how much of an advantage Apple has by designing their own hardware.
That being said, I am totally for it. I'm planning on buying the Z Fold 3 (whenever it comes out) as long as it maintains feature parity with this years Galaxy devices. I'll probably suffer some 1st adopter's growing pains, but that's expected.
I foresee inking and OCR technology picking up if 8 inch form-factors become the norm in the near future.
Before the iPod, MP3 players sucked.
Before the iPhone, smartphones sucked.
Before the MacBook notebooks sucked (still, sleep and touchpads don't work right on most notebooks but Macs).
They don't do it first, they just make it right. Break it down to the essentials, and iterate obsessively over every detail and get it done in a way that works for most people (that can afford it). They never concern themselves with large feature lists, just do the few things that are essential right.
Granted, they are not perfect, but f**k they do get close.