The rule for online headlines in modern journalism is this: ‘If the title ends in a question mark, then the answer is no.” This time I’m not so sure, but what I’ve seen of bendable smartphones looks more gimmicky than useful.
Samsung may think foldable phones are the new flip phones of the 21st century but success will depend more upon implementation than just the idea itself, right? And isn’t Samsung the same company that has trouble with exploding batteries? Maybe they should lock down their battery technology before announcing to the world that foldable phones are the next great thing.
Regardless, our favorite Korean conglomerate is working on a foldable phone and there might be some merit to such a device. Think of an iPhone that can fold in half, but open up to its current size and thickness. How hard would it be to add foldable to thinner, lighter, faster?
The thing to remember here is that Samsung pushes the envelope on hardware even more than Apple. The company already has flexible screen technology, and coupled with a case an flexible internals could produce a phone that is either flexible or bendable.
Wait. Are not all smartphones these days flexible or bendable? Yes, but not much by design. Each smartphone case has a certain stress level capability but isn’t designed to be bent or folded in half or flexible enough to curve in your hand.
It’s not just the screen that needs to be flexible or capable of folding in half like the drawing above. The case that holds the screen and internal electronics and battery needs similar flex capability. And, unless I was drowning my election result fears in suds at a nearby brewery, I don’t recall seeing too many smartphone batteries capable of, well, bending or folding.
It could happen.
But first I need some answers to a few questions. Will it blend is not the issue. How will it bend or fold? Another issue is, ‘Do we care?‘ Can future folding smartphones be so thin that when folded in half remains as thin as an iPhone or Galaxy Flame Thrower does now? Does a curved case smartphone provide any real benefit? Can you hold it better? Does a handheld device that can bend along your cheek offer any benefit? Does a screen that folds in half mean we can have iPhones with double the screen size of an iPhone 7 Plus? If so, how do you navigate with a single thumb?
Lots of questions but not many answers.