This year, the countless crowd at MWC was most eager to get their hands on two smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X.
It is not surprising that the Internet was torn apart by videos of eyewitnesses with the eyes of crazy people: they say, revolution, future, success guaranteed.
Don’t be fooled. What we saw is a demonstration far from reality.
Foldable smartphones have several unresolved issues. The fact that the manufacturers themselves are hushing them up is the best indicator that they are bending a bad line.
Samsung Galaxy Fold. This slide was shown at the presentation for exactly 1 second. Still would.
1. The price is not viable. Foldable smartphones under $2000 cannot be mass produced. It will be possible to start talking about success when the price level drops to the cost of the current iPhone, if not lower.
It will take 2-3 full cycles of generations of “clamshells” before standard spare parts and production become significantly cheaper. And this is one and a half to two years.
Huawei Mate X. Fat? Thick.
2. The thickness is inadequate. Even 10 years ago, such devices were surprising. The time of smartphones-bricks is gone.
Youtubers, techno-journalists and geek freaks are a bad audience, they won’t pull the concept of a fat folding brick to a level interesting to the masses. Where there are masses, there is money.
Huawei Mate X. How do you like the display tubercle? And after all, the device is clearly no more than a month old.
3. Displays are mechanically unreliable. All prototypes at MWC had slightly stretched, bulging screens in the fold area.
It is not visible in the photo, but it is noticeable and annoying live. What will happen six months later? Mechanical wear is inevitable. The short-term breakdown potential here is higher than that of any spare part in modern smartphones.
OPPO foldable smartphone. So far, a prototype. Like everyone else, though.
4. Plastic screens are killed at a time. Proof is here. These are the ones that will be in foldable smartphones until Gorilla Glass comes up with ultra-flexible glass.
Have you forgotten that 15 years ago the display of a “mobile” was scratched with a key or even with a fingernail? How about the same situations, but in a smartphone for 2 thousand dollars?
Press photo Samsung Galaxy Fold. In reality, no one was allowed to hold him.
5. Operating systems and software are not developed. Popular apps and operating systems will need to be adapted to the foldable smartphone concept. How to do this when each device is laid out in its own way, in different directions, with different final screen resolutions and diagonals?
This is a question that both the Android development team at Alphabet and the shell developers at smart phone companies will have to think about. While everything looks like a terrible clusterfuck, rake it for at least a year. The software and shells have just adapted to the recesses of the camera, but here the task is globally more difficult.
In 2019, a foldable smartphone is a utopia. And that’s ok
It is possible to spread rot on the foldable smartphones announced today for a long time and for business. But that doesn’t mean the idea itself is bad. To some extent, this is an inevitable future.
Just do not think that it is about to turn into an everyday reality. There are as many childhood diseases in this category of devices as the first iPhone and its followers never dreamed of.
As long as impact marketing and big promises cackle above our heads, we will continue to buy. real, time-tested smarts. No flexible screens.
And then we’ll see how develop.
Foldable smartphones have a few unsolvable problems.
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