Everyone's talking about foldable phones, but a few things need to happen before people start buying them
- Smartphone trends center on having bigger and bigger displays. This year, everyone is talking about the foldable phone.
- A few things need to happen before people start buying foldable phones from companies like Samsung, Huawei, and Motorola.
- To start, developers need to find the technology that will make screens more durable.
- Watch the video above to learn what will make these phones "buy-able" to users.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Antonio Villas-Boas: Everybody's talking about foldable smartphones. This is fresh. This is new. This shows promise of something different.
Well, if you haven't noticed, the trend on smartphones is to have bigger and bigger displays. That's just the way it's going, and a foldable smartphone will allow you to get that bigger display but in a smaller form factor. This is pretty cool, in my opinion, I think I'm quite into it actually. You know, it's something that we're not used to per se, but we have been hearing about over the years, and now it's finally come to light. We have different designs: from Samsung, which sort of opens up like a book; the Huawei Mate X that opens up like a reversible book where the screen is on the outside of the phone.Then we have an idea from Motorola where they're gonna have a clamshell kind of design that apparently is meant to look a little bit like the Razr phone from the days of yore.
We're actually hearing rumors about two new foldable Samsung smartphones. One is meant to be sort of a flip-phone style, and the other is meant to be sort of a reverse-book style. Of course, there are rumors that Apple's gonna be joining in to the foldable fun. No one really knows exactly or 100% if Apple's gonna be making a foldable smartphone. Apple is not the kind of company that makes the first of anything. It kinda just sort of checks out what's going on on the horizon, sees the playing field, and then, if it works for another company, they'll make it themselves and probably a lot better.
Literally, everything that is first gen sucks at first. It is terrible. Remember the first iPhone? It's awful. I mean, it was actually kind of, I mean it was great, but it was awful. These are the first iterations of these smartphones, and this brand new design, this brand new form factor, and, honestly, it just doesn't feel like there's a lot in place to support these phones. No phone maker has a concrete idea of how the foldable phone should fold or how it should look or how it should work in general. Thing is about the foldable phone so far, is the price tag that is just crazy. It's just nuts. I think one of the biggest things for these phone makers to sort of develop and improve is gonna be the actual foldable display itself. By now, that can't be glass, right? It has to be some kind of plastic, which may not look as good as the glass smartphones that we're used to.
There's no doubt that over the next months, perhaps even years, that the phone makers will be developing technologies and materials and everything else they need to make foldable smartphones actually usable or, actually in the first place, buy-able by a lot of people. Once they get maybe to the thousand dollar mark, maybe people will start buying them.
Basically, these phone companies kind of try something out and see if it sticks, and if it sticks and you guys tell 'em, "Hey I like these things," they're gonna keep makin' 'em. It's a novelty right now, huge risk if you buy it right now as well, but it is pretty cool. I think this is gonna be something. Just a few things that need to happen first. Phone makers need to develop the technology, make screens better and less breakable when you bend 'em like 10,000 times. I would hold off for now, give it a few years, get all the kinks out the way, give it a few generations, maybe over time it'll get a lot less expensive.
They also need to figure out what kind of design the foldable smartphone should have. Should the screen be on the inside? Should it be on the outside? Should it open like a pamphlet?Tons of questions to be answered, and that only comes with a few years out in the real world.