Foldable smartphones (and soon also rollable ones) are about changing the actual shape of the device beyond the proof of concept and technological progress. What does that mean? By folding (rolling, etc.) a smartphone, you are actually resizing the canvas, in this case the display.
You can zoom in the display – and we talked about the two main concepts to achieve this last week – or you can zoom out. If you continue the logic, the two approaches above will either result in a. a larger, tablet-like phone, or b. a smaller phone.
An example of the first category would be the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or the Mate Xs (upcoming Mate X2). An example of the second category is the Galaxy Z Flip or the Razr 5G.
While they both fold, they do so with a completely different outcome. Those in the first category unfold into a tablet-like big screen and collapse into a normal-sized phone. Those in the second category fold up to a device that is smaller than normal and expand to a regular size. In other words, we have regular too big and small too regular.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the recent rumors about the foldable iPhone. According to Chatter, Apple may already have decided to take the clamshell route for its first foldable smartphone, or at least some claims have been made.
In defense of the clamshell foldable iPhone
“Sure, why not? It makes sense for Apple to bring a foldable clamshell iPhone onto the market. Samsung has done it successfully,” some might say. And I say, “You’re right”. What we forget, however, is that Samsung also has a classic, non-foldable smartphone with the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
For those who don’t want to have a smartphone and tablet with them all the time, Samsung (and HUAWEI) came up with the concept of a phone exploding into a tablet.
Not the foldable iPhone
This brings us to the idea of protecting the iPad as a line-up. If a phone turns into a tablet, it surely cannibalizes the tablet offering, right? If you think of it, the 7.9-inch iPad mini is the only iPad that is relatively small. All of the others are a 10-inch plus, which is a whole different category.
Even if we force the argument that an inflatable iPhone would affect the iPad somewhat, it would only affect the iPad mini, and even if it did, it wouldn’t be a bad decision to discontinue it while offering a foldable iPhone that is close to this display size.
The case against the clamshell foldable iPhone
Going back to the Samsung analogy above and the Z Fold 2, this was actually the first generation foldable Samsung product on the market. Only after they succeeded in establishing this offer did Samsung tend to adopt the clamshell approach. Why? Because these days we want our screens to be big. We use so much media and with 5G that is not lost.
Apple, which is tackling the foldable game with a clamshell, continues to offer future customers two screen sizes: a small one (compared to the fold-out / expandable leaflets) and an even smaller one (hopefully outside of the now folded clamshell).
This could of course solve a problem for those who want a phone to take up the least amount of space, but only partially. A phone folded in two can almost double its thickness. Whatever you gain by decreasing the height, you will lose by increasing the thickness while keeping the width the same.
There is also the inconvenience of opening it every time you want to make a call or do something important. As powerful as iOS might be to support the outside display, you just won’t be as productive on a 1, 2, or even 3-inch outside screen as you are on a 6-inch plus display. There’s no way around it.
… And then there are the boastful rights, but we should mention this both for and against the foldable clamshell iPhone.
It is currently unknown whether Apple will be classic or foldable for its iPhone, and we are only speculating here. At this point, it’s not even sure Apple knows the direction it’s headed. Regardless of which direction it’s going to head in, a foldable iPhone is definitely a swagger for those who are proud to show off their newest iPhone.
Yes, there are many who specifically buy the latest exclusive color option to be able to tell from a distance that it is the latest model. Heaven forbids them to rock last year’s deal. But each his own.
Another thing is clear, and history teaches us about Apple: They’re usually late for the game, but when they adopt a technology or trend, they arguably seem to do better.
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Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the editor-in-chief of Pocketnow. As head of publications, he would like to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is primarily focused and focused on the audience. Anton’s goal, which has been adopted by the entire team, is to turn Pocketnow into a reference medium. Contact: [email protected]