From Apple’s latest iPhone range to Google’s new Pixel 3, the competition is certainly fierce in the smartphone space. To break through the noise, businesses must come up with new innovative solutions to stay ahead of the competition. And while Samsung’s newfoldable phone has certainly sparked a lot of enthusiasm, the question is if it really is the great game changer the business needs to stay relevant.
The South Korean company unveiled its foldable phone at its annual developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday October 7. The device uses a new type of display technology dubbed the Infinity Flex Display. This makes it 7.3 inches when unfolded. Folding it lengthwise makes it look like a traditional phone which then becomes 4.5 inches. “When open it’s a tablet, offering a big screen experience,” said Justin Denison, senior vice president for mobile product marketing at Samsung, at the conference. “When closed it’s a phone that fits neatly inside your pocket.”
The phablet is reportedly going to be named Galaxy F and will presumably be released in March 2019. It’s expected to cost roughly £1,370, The Verge reported.
So is it really a game changer? Well, for starters Samsung isn’t the first company to introduce a foldable handset. For instance, Chinese company Royale stole some of Samsung’s thunder a week before the event by introducing FlexPai, which it claims to be the world’s first foldable phone. And neither of them will be alone for long as more companies like Chinese giant Huawei also plan to roll out similar gadgets.
Moreover, when Elite Business asked a few experts if the foldable phone will be the next big thing in the mobile frontier, they were left unconvinced. “The proof will be in the execution beyond the gimmick as they will need a full suite of bespoke apps to justify a screen unique to market and to capture the imagination of a market awash with choice,” argued Rob Baillie, mobile expert at www.comparemymobile.com, the mobile analysis website.
Apart from the software the price is a concern. “Technology like this will likely come at a record breaking high price and it will remain to be seen whether consumer demand for this style will justify it, Baillie adds. “Beyond those who inevitably have to have the latest thing, the fold will need to have a practical use beyond its aesthetic to convince savvy consumers to part with their cash.”
However, it’s important to recognise that it’s still too early to declare whether or not the foldable technology as the future of mobile devices. “Nothing has been brought to market yet, so it will be down to the buying public to decide how this new proposal unfolds,” says Andrew Cartledge, Mobile Expert at mobiles.co.uk, the mobile phone marketplace.
So is it a game changer? Well, it seemingly depends how Samsung will roll out the device next year.