Samsung, its new Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the perhaps hasty declaration of the end of flat phones.
Yesterday was an important day for Samsung. The company has formally presented details of the Galaxy Z Fold 2, its new flagship folding mobile that wants to redeem itself from the failures that the first had. In the videos that have been shared on social networks, the premise is clear: “the era of flat mobiles is over”. They bet everything on a folding future.
Samsung may have had its issues with the first Galaxy Fold, but admittedly they have been the ones who have started to bet hard with the idea of folding phones. And yes, they have had problems, but it is part of daring and seeking to break the mold. Now, from there to proclaiming the end of the era of the flat mobile there is a stretch.
The future may be foldable, but not as Samsung thinks
Just remember other examples that have occurred in the past. Not so many years ago, curved and 3D televisions were going to take over the world. Today it is clear that we do not want 3D or curved screens in the living room: what we spend the money on is HDR profiles and 4K resolutions.
It is still too early to say that regarding folding mobiles, of course: the concept is only taking its first steps in the market, and prices are still too high for the vast majority of consumers to take into account. Samsung itself sells two types of folding phones (the Flip and the Fold), to see which of them sells the most. They may succeed and the concept will succeed, or what happened with curved and / or 3D televisions may be repeated.
But all of that is something that Samsung does. It remains to be seen what the rest of the companies do, and among them is an Apple that is about to start a real revolution in its processors and already has several patents with folding device concepts. As has happened before, Apple may make a “we are late but we are fine.” What to throw “a foldable device we didn’t know we needed,” in the words of Steve Jobs. Something that combines usability, design and technology as only those from Cupertino know how to do. Everyone was launching their own smartphone concept in 2006, but the iPhone came along and we already know what happened next.
At the same time, the arrival of these devices will not mean the end of “flat” terminals. What’s more, they may drop in price and make them much more attractive to the general public, something that can be beneficial in the crisis that has hit us due to the pandemic.
I do not doubt that Apple, thanks to its advances with Apple Silicon chips and the fortune it has been spending on R&D efforts, has us prepared devices we can’t even imagine for years to come. But the current concept of “flat screen” phones and tablets will remain with us for a long time, at least until the trend for foldable terminals reaches everyone with more affordable prices. We will see what happens.