Photo credit: LetsGoDigital.org
Foldable phones promise to become the consumer tech hype of 2019. But some industry watchers are skeptic. Our current phones are fine they say, they get the job done. Why do we need a foldable phone anyway? Here are five good reasons why we at Foldable News think you want one.
1. It will fit in your pocket again
Phones have become too large. Remember when Samsung first came out with the Galaxy Note back in 2011? It had a 5,3″ screen and we all thought it was huge and wouldn’t fit our pocket or purse. Their latest model is 6.4 inches and hardly pocketable. With foldable displays, devices can become compact again. The latest Note can be folded in half, to a 3.2 inch device, which is smaller than the original iPhone. Or you could have a Motorola Razr type flip-phone that is slim and very pocketable and unfolds into a regular sized smartphone with a 5,5 inch screen. Size matters.
2. You can get rid of your tablet or iPad
A 5 inch foldable phone may unfold into a 10 inch tablet, same size as the iPad Air. So with flexible displays, you can combine the smartphone functionality with the tablet screen size. The best of both worlds. Who needs two devices when you could have one?
3. It’s more convenient to watch videos or browse the web on a large display
More and more people watch video content on a mobile device. Netflix has grown exponentially in the last years and television viewing numbers have declined. With a foldable display, the viewing experience is further enhanced. And not only for films and series, but also for web browsing. Reading a newspaper, playing a game, or getting your stock market overview is much nicer with a large display. As is taking pictures or video.
4. Foldable displays don’t break
One of the biggest advantages of foldable displays, is that they can’t break like glass displays do. Most regular smartphones end up in the trash because their screens get shattered. With foldable displays, that is no longer the case. The organic, light-emitting diodes in foldable displays are manufactured on a plastic substrate, not on glass. It’s what makes them foldable but also virtually unbreakable. Foldable displays should be able to withstand 200.000 folds. So if an an average person would open his phone 20 times a day, the phone would have a lifetime of 27 years.
5. Phones won’t all look the same anymore
People like to be different. Back in the late nineties and early zero’s, we all had different phones. Some had keyboards, some flipped, some slided, some had pop-up camera’s or rotating displays. Consumers loved it, because gadgets are personal and they allowed them to differentiate from others. Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, all phones look the same. A boring piece of flat, rectangular glass. Sure, you can change the wallpaper and wrap it in a fancy case. But the phone stays the same.
Foldable displays will bring back the variations in form factors. We will see double foldable and triple folding displays. They will fold inwards or outwards. There will be secondary displays on the outside or inside. Screen size will nog longer be a limiting factor. There will be flip phones and sliders again. Flexible displays can also be rollable or bendable. Designers can go wild.