What’s keeping you from buying one of those new-fangled folding phones? I see a number of roadblocks to something that may well become standard in a few years.
First, price. $1,500 to $2,500 is too much. Second, players. Samsung, Huawei, and now Motorola. Third, technology. They’re still too thick and heavy. Finally, the value proposition.
Why do we need a folding iPhone?
We can argue about specifications from competing brands, but let’s consider Apple’s iPhone as the smartphone industry premium standard-bearer. The camera takes photos that rival DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Videos are better than broadcast quality.
How many of the nearly 2-million apps available for iPhone do you need?
Yes, next year’s iPhone model will be an improvement, likely a hefty change in physical design, too, but let’s face the music. We’ve reached peak iPhone and that means we need a change.
A folding iPhone.
What does it need? First, to fold properly and not turn early adopters into critics. As evidenced by the iPhone 11 Pro models, Apple seems to be back in the mode of under-promise and over-deliver, so any massive sea change in form fact needs to be nearly perfect from day one.
I like what I saw in Microsoft’s Duo smartphone, due sometime next year, but an Apple iPhone that bends and folds and doesn’t mutilate your attitude must bend and fold properly– hardware and software.
That means apps need to fit properly and that often takes developers time to adjust their apps. It’s a problem we saw when Apple jumped iPhone from 3.5-inches to 4-inches, then from 4-inches to 4.7-inches and 5.8-inches and beyond.
Where and how apps reside on folding iPhone displays must be well thought and implemented properly.
A foldable iPhone needs to be thin to be accepted by a substantial portion of iPhone buyers. Motorola’s new RAZR is the same thickness as the original from 15 years ago. Smart move.
Otherwise, it would be too much like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold which more resembles a folding iPad mini.
That brings up the value proposition.
Already, many of Apple’s customers have disdain for the larger form factors of iPhone 11, 11 Pro and Max, and have a desire for single-handed controls and a smaller form factor.
What good is a much, much larger smartphone? I want one. I’m not sure why. Apple needs to convince me.