The history of smartphones may be short but it’s filled with revolutionary innovations and evolutionary steps. From models that were barely smarter than feature phones and had relatively small, monochrome displays the technology progressed to PDAs, with designs that were already something like smartphones as we know them. Then, the iPhone changed things fundamentally, turning all-screen phones into the hottest product on the market.
Now, we are on the brink of the next step in smartphone evolution, with manufacturers trying to cram more screen size into a device that occupies the same space in our pockets. The obvious solution is to fold the phone in half – this is how foldable phones were born.
Are foldable phones useful?
The answer to this question depends on what you use your smartphone for. If your goal is to consume a lot of streaming media, play games at the best online casino in Canada or read books in a fashion similar to the ‘traditional’ one, the answer is most likely “yes”. Foldable phones offer the extra screen real estate entertainment options like streaming video and the vast casino game collection at the JackpotCity Casino need while still keeping the phone at a size that fits into every pocket, making it perfect for a quick slot machine break on a park bench or reading a chapter of your favourite book while commuting to work in the morning.
When it comes to more mundane functions like calling, texting and such, the extra screen size has no use whatsoever – these things are much easier done on a handset with a ‘traditional’ form factor.
The answer also depends on the type of foldable phone we are talking about. All of the above refers especially to the handsets with a book-like fold – think models like the Galaxy Fold series or Huawei’s Mate XS. There is another approach as well, reminiscent of the ‘flip phones’ that were so popular in the age of feature phones. These – like the revived Motorola RAZR or Apple’s rumoured flip phone – would be much more usable in an everyday setting while fitting more easily in even a smaller pocket.
The future of foldable phones
According to Statista, smartphone makers sold just around 1 million foldable phones in 2019, with the number growing to 8 million in 2020. Analysts – cautiously – expect this growth to continue in the coming years, with manufacturer KH Vatec expecting that they will go into a “full expansion phase” starting the second quarter of this year after more affordable foldable models will be launched, based on the predicted growth of their hinge element shipments (essential for the manufacturing of foldable phones).
Until recently, the vast majority of the foldable phones launched were premium models – with the price tags to match their status – which explains the slow growth of their sales. Apparently, in turn, there is true interest for them which – once they become more affordable – will likely boost their sales and cement their position in the market.
As things are standing right now, foldable phones do indeed have a future. How bright this future depends on the price tags applied to these innovative handsets.