Smartphones have stopped developing rapidly. A bar made of metal and glass has become an ideal form, it remains only to hide the camera under the display.
It turned out that there is almost nowhere to improve the main chips, so manufacturers are creating new ones. This crisis of ideas gives rise to functionally useless models: they are developed in order to sell, and not make our life more convenient.
Apple will not only not be able to release a foldable smartphone, it just doesn’t need either it or us.
Technology is not ready for flip smartphones
We are “here” if apple engineers learn not to crumple displays
The bendable glass in the Z Flip is hidden under plastic so as not to burst from microcracks. The bends and bumps on the Razr are generally crazy.
Many have already managed to bend the display, but it’s all not important when it looks and feels unfinished. A few more generations will pass before Cupertino seriously decides to design a real product.
If it comes to this at all, because two waves of unsuccessful experiments have already passed in the history of phones.
🌊 1. Mobile phones brought to perversions in zero
From left to right: Nokia 7280, 7600, 3250
In 2003-2005, Nokia dominated and, in order to stimulate demand, launched one strange device after another. There was nothing wrong with this: some models entered, some did not. But all this happened from a lack of radical changes that ultimately led the company to decline.
The situation with Samsung is becoming similar for the same reason:
* There is market dominance
* Company models are hard to figure out
* Tortured ideas give rise to the super-expensive Galaxy Fold and Z Flip, which are inconvenient to use.
But this does not mean that the history of Nokia awaits Koreans. They survived both eras: mobile and protosmartphone. Surely they will come out of the water for the third time when the devices begin to change again. The scheme with copying successful ideas has long been worked out.
🌊 2. Smartphones bent and broke, did not enter
From left to right: LG G Flex 2, Galaxy Note Edge, Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, Oppo Find X, Galaxy Round
This was done both for the sake of form, and for the sake of functions.
For example, Galaxy Round and LG G Flex with concave screens did not bear any practical benefit. Then Samsung experiments resulted in a rounding off at the edges of their Edge versions. Which, however, in the new flagships have already disappeared.
The newer Mi MIX 3 and Oppo Find X have movable elements. But at least they were made to get rid of the camera eye on the front panel. They solved one problem, added another: the mechanics greatly spoil the strength and, of course, kills moisture protection.
It is impossible to incorporate all this into the main flagships. It will be too unreliable. Samsung itself decided to split the lineup, and not mix its new “shells” with S-models.
While everyone was trying to hype, Apple never made emotional releases.
Clamshells are more a trend than a killerfic
From left to right: Moto Razr 2019, Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, Surface Neo, Surface Duo, LG G8X ThinQ
The buyer comes in smooth animations, long software support, good cameras. But it’s definitely not that the smartphone can now be folded in half. It will be useful when it ceases to be noticeable.
We look at why it was necessary to fold the mobile phone in zero. There were three useful points:
1. Protection of buttons against accidental clicks
2. Protection of the display inside the shell
3. The larger display fits in a smaller case
Advertising photo Galaxy Z Flip
Today, only the last reason could work if the case did not become a heavy thick sandwich. There is no sense in folding it in half.
Well, Samsung offers a couple of “unique” scenarios for the Z Flip form factor, but literally no one will keep it as a makeup bag to take a selfie.
Cupertinians do not copy
Suspiciously detailed patent of a folding device for 72 images, which Apple received at the beginning of the year
No one has such a slender lineup as Apple. You always know the number of the new iPhone and what the best device will be with the prefix “pro”. To enter into a series of products an offal with incomprehensible tasks not in the style of the company.
But even if it comes out, it is not clear what place it will take. The iPad turned out to be something between a laptop and a smartphone, while a foldable device will either be a tablet and an iPhone at the same time, or it should create a new category with its own philosophy.
Apple will not go further than prototypes
Early versions of what later became the iPad, MacBook, and iPhone
To understand the ambitiousness and scale of the company’s development, look at those that have not reached mass production.
This is the main argument that there will be no clamshell in its current form. Outside of Apple’s labs, a minimum of designs is being chosen. Last time we learned about unfinished AirPower, it all ended tragically. So it’s unlikely that similar bold ideas will be selected for production or, moreover, announced.
Maybe Tim Cook is right now spinning the bendable prototype iPhone 13 Quadra in his hands, but by the time he is released in four years, he will be transformed into a completely new device. Or we will not see any half displays from Apple, simply because they look unnatural in the place of the bends and spoil the user experience.
As a result, either a universal joint is born, or technological clamshells die
The mechanism in the Moto Razr 2019 sounded and looked perfect in theory, but in practice the dents turned out to be worse than that of Samsung
Until they come up with a reliable method to bend and unbend the display so that no bumps and dents are visible, the devices will remain at the niche level. But even if someone thinks out the ideal mechanism, he will surely remain with the company itself. How it happened with the chin of the iPhone X against all smartphones on Android.
Another scenario is possible when the trend will spread to mid-budget models, and everyone will put up with imperfections. In the end, we are already used to bangs and cutouts for selfie cameras.
I am 100% sure of one. Apple is not a company that sits on a hype engine. She is rather the chief engineer. Everyone else is either trying to catch up with her, or to jerk earlier on the curved rails.
This usually leads to what everyone knows about the MacBook, iPod, and iPhone. And to the fact that everyone forgot about some Galaxy Round.