In recent news we have seen and heard about foldable phones soon hitting the markets. Samsung Galaxy Fold is coming to the US on April 26 and Huawei Mate X is being released this summer. If you don’t know what we are talking about, no worries, read on and you’ll find out. The point is that foldable phones are not a SiFi dream, they are already here. However, the question is will they persist?
What are foldable phones?
Those more tech savvy might get flashbacks to the legendary Nokia Morph published back in 2008. Almost ten years ago, Nokia showcased how mobile phones could become foldable and even fluid using nanomaterials.
The most interesting thing about foldable phones isn’t the first steps we’ll see in 2019, rather the possibilities that foldable phones open for powerful new designs. In the short term though, the devices we will see are going to try something a little more straightforward.
The foldable smartphones that come out in 2019 are presented as phones that double as tablets. They’re going to be bulky, awkward and expensive. On top of that they are not water resistant, and it’s going to be quite difficult to build a case for these kind of devices.
The future is near
But the future of phones that convert into tablets will potentially get far cooler and more functional in the years ahead. OLED, for example promises radical thinness and through that, they might unlock an incredible array of options for product designers. This breakthrough might also go beyond simple devices that mimic tablets.
TCL, the company behind Blackberry and Alcatel, is working on a smartphone that could bend around your wrist to become a wearable. In other words, the vision of phones that could transform into wearables is far bigger than foldable phones, just like we saw more than a decade ago with the Nokia Morph.
What to expect next
Android is pushing an update on their OS for what they call “foldables”, compatible devices like Galaxy Fold and Mate X,. So, while these foldable phones are exciting, they also add more complexity for web and mobile developers. Soon, they will build ever more responsive applications that can respond to an increasing amount of screen sizes.
However, technical problems are what web and mobile developers are here to solve. Still, it will be rather exciting to follow how foldables are unfolding (pun intended!). Not to mention the experiences developers might now create with these flexible screen sizes.
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