Foldable smartphones are chances for exhausted industries :: Investor.bg



Foldable smartphones are chances for exhausted industries

Photo: Reuters

Samsung has announced an innovation that has the potential to become revolutionary. An important thing now is not to confuse things, writes Leonid Bershidski in an analysis in Bloomberg, quoted by BTA.

On Wednesday 7th of November, after years of rumors and speculation, Samsung finally released a smartphone with a hinged screen it plans to launch next year. At the risk of being a naive teenager, I think it's an innovation that has the potential to become a revolutionary iPhone. If the manufacturer is acting successfully.

The technology is more or less mature for some time. Organic compounds that emit light and the electrical circuits that they offer a charge can be printed on a foil and also stored in a tinted glass. However, the challenge to produce a collapsible imaging device was enormous.

How can a folding device that is thin enough to fit into its pocket and contain a battery that can power a large screen for intensive use? What types of connections will be needed to make the phone comfortably and securely folded? How many times can the screen bend before it stops? How can mobile apps return to the correct size when switching from a large screen to a small screen?

Some technical issues are still not resolved. Samsung, for example, apparently has not found a way to insert a fingerprint reader into the folding screen as it did with the new generation of glass phones.

It is also claimed that the business logic of such an enterprise is controversial. Why would anyone want a folding phone and what technology would it mean revolution?

The traditional smartphone screens are large enough for most people to be unnecessary tablets. The tablet market, even by plugging a switch-on keyboard such as Microsoft Surface and its clones, is shrinking. The number of shipments dropped by 5.4% yoy, according to IDC.

When Royole lowered his phone with a hinged display and tried to defeat Samsung, who was able to play with him, he wrote that the feeling was rather a smart toy than a revolutionary device.

Even Samsung looks cautious and thinks the folding phone is a market place with growth potential.

In my opinion, however, doubts are similar to those that were expressed when Apple introduced the first iPhone. Who wanted a touchscreen phone and how could he compete with a large number of devices on the market? Of course, it does not underestimate the doubts – there are quite technological innovations that have not spread the wings.

Do you remember Amazon's Fire Phone, which promised to show something similar to Star Wars holograms on the screen? It turned out he was crazy.

I once said that Amazon is not a company that has to present such an adventurous innovation – the developer team did not need the new 3D features to be important to the consumer. Samsung – and Google, which helps South Korean giants and other smartphone manufacturers introduce Android to folding devices – there are some. There are also convincing reasons for both consumers and manufacturers to turn to new technology.

It's true that 6 "screens are killing tablets since Samsung released the Galaxy Note in 2011 against screaming" who will want such a huge phone? "But people have chosen these big-screen smartphones as a compromise because the tablets are not for pocket phones and discomfort for common calls and text messaging.

However, reading, watching videos and playing games on a large-format phone is not particularly interesting. Writing long messages on small keyboards is a skill that some people simply can not control, at least not without the development of a disease called "smartphone-thumb". All this is acceptable but tedious. Trying to show your friend something on the screen while looking at you is also an exercise suitable for acrobats.

For manufacturers, the benefits of folding headphone distribution can also be significant. No matter how durable the polymer is on tilting nets, it will wear out many bends to create a natural (although we hope for a reasonable) repair cycle. This can facilitate sales and production planning. Now, the average US smartphone upgrades cycle is 32 months, compared to 24 to 25 months in 2013 and 2014. Cutting the cycle, even a bit, will revive the smartphone market, and may end the downward trend in sales that declined in three months to July 2.1%.

Samsung and Google just have to play their cards right. It is important for the South Korean manufacturer to be praised for the first new product it launches and to make sure that the first buyers are not going too early for quality. It is important for Google to customize Android, so developers do not require too much work to adapt to the folding screen. This is a big hurdle to overcome before Samsung puts something on the market. Running devices without the least used applications that are fully compatible in changing form is a factor that can kill a potential revolution in the fetus.

It does not need everything to be perfect. The first iPhone was not and in the first year it sold just one or two million units per quarter. Just be good enough for first-time users to appreciate its benefits. From there, it will take only a few years for it to be universally accepted unless there are major problems with quality and compatibility. The technology will eventually end if Apple, which buys an iPhone screen from Samsung and LG (another company running on a fold-up screen), has also taken this step. Concerns repeatedly responded to observations from third-party experiments – larger screen sizes, multiple camera lenses, rounded glass, and other sequential rotations.

None of this is given. I'm killing Samsung and Google not to have a chance.

/ BTA /


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