The folding smartphone is already in its second generation, despite the fact that the first has not had a great commercial reception. The mobile industry is going through a difficult time. It is compared to previous years, a good golden decade, since the iPhone appeared in 2007. In the following years, sales did not stop growing, in many cases with solid double digits. But for some years they have slowed down and even stagnated. And precisely this situation is one of the most significant to explain the launch of a folding smartphone.
But the truth is that the electronic industry works this way. Especially on smartphones, where manufacturers have become accustomed to very high renewal rates. Sometimes a mobile-only lasts us a year or two, at most. So when sales have threatened to slow down, elements have always appeared to propel them. This mission was first entrusted to the performance of the processors. Then to connectivity, with 4G, increasing the size of the screen and improving the camera.
At the moment, the creation of a folding smartphone and 5G connectivity is the great arguments to stimulate sales. But do we users need a mobile that can be folded?
The advantages of a folding smartphone are in its double functionality. The idea is that the device can be used as a mobile (folded) for a large part of the tasks. These, of course, include calls, but also a quick reading of the mail or news, check social networks, WhatsApp messages, find an address in the maps application or listen to a podcast. However, for more time-consuming tasks, such as watching videos, reading long articles or a PDF, or going through the photo gallery, the deployed mode would be used.
Waiting for the Folding
A good string of manufacturers has released their own folding models. The last ones that have been noticed have been the Galaxy Z Flip and the Huawei Mate Xs. Two bets are somewhat more moderate than the initials of these brands. And is that brands now seek more utility, reaching the public, than general admiration.
They are smaller in size, making them more manageable. The delicate part of the fold has evolved, which will save users trouble. But again the question arises whether they are really necessary. And there are mainly two uses that manufacturers see.
One of them is the professional one and perhaps it is where the folding smartphone comes in first. In some jobs, having a device that serves as a tablet is essential. It happens with commercials who travel to make presentations or show catalogues to customers on-site. And in many other areas, a screen like a tablet is desirable, to examine graphics, read the documentation at ease or manage email more comfortably. It is possible to think that in some of these cases a folding smartphone acts as a mobile and a tablet in the future.
Regarding the consumer market, the need that manufacturers have sensed in users – or that they have contributed to creating – is the viewing of series and movies or simply content with a narrative quality edition on the smartphone. Some already watch series on their phones, but the truth is that platforms like Netflix or HBO invite you to watch their content on a larger screen. It is commonly accepted that a YouTube video is consumed on mobile, but for a series, a movie – even for a video of a Youtuber with good production and narrative substance – more inches are sought. And the folding ones could arrive to fulfil this function.