Mon. Aug 8th, 2022
Are folding smartphones finally good?


Three years after their first appearance, foldable smartphones have not yet become essential. However, these products are becoming more advanced and analysts are optimistic.

Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Z Flip, Razr, Mi Mix Fold, Find N, P50 Pocket… Behind these complicated names hide the first folding smartphones, devices capable of folding in half to become less bulky. Extremely innovative when they were introduced in 2019, this new type of terminal was going to revolutionize the smartphone market. However, we still come across them very rarely.

A few days after the third anniversary of the announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Numerama offers you a video to take stock of this new category of products. What about the folding smartphone?

finally finished products

First of all, the foldable smartphones of 2022 have little to do with those of 2019. Extremely fragile in origin, the devices that are marketed today are much more robust. Glass screen, reinforced hinge, less visible fold, IP68 sealing… Using a third generation folding smartphone gives a very different feeling. However, this bad image sticks to their skin, which undoubtedly plays into sales.

In three years, manufacturers have also had time to optimize the experience. Initially questionable for their usefulness (did we really need big screens that could fold?), foldable smartphones are now more versatile. There are several formats (tablet/smartphone, flip phone, etc.) and some applications have been adapted for use with the smartphone folded in half, like a laptop (handy for watching a video or making a video call). Little by little, these devices find a use. We just have to wait for a push from Google to facilitate proper software development.

to go further

The Oppo Find N is a small tablet capable of folding in half.  // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Are folding smartphones finally good?
The Oppo Find N (2022), on the left. The Galaxy Fold (2019), on the right. // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Finally, prices have come down. You had to pay at least 2,020 euros at the beginning, now there are folding smartphones below 1,000 euros. Some classic smartphones cost more.

2022, the year of standardization?

In the coming months, the market will be tested. Samsung, which initially reserved the folding screens it produced, now markets them to other manufacturers. What to anticipate a multiplication of products? This is what many analysts think, very confident in the future of this market. The DSCC (Display Supply Chain) predicts, for example, a doubling of the market, from 7 million phones sold in 2021 to 17 million in 2022. The progression should be even more impressive in the following years, especially if the big manufacturers also launch (Apple, which is not expected before 2025-2026, could really launch the marlette). It’s too early to judge the folding category, but its future doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy.

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By SABER

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