MWC this year was about two things – 5G and foldable phones. Nearly every single company has either commented on foldable phones or has announced one except for Google and Apple. Rumours overnight though suggest that they are at least entertaining the idea for some time in the future.
Samsung Display has apparently sent samples of foldable displays to both Apple and Google according to reports out of South Korea overnight. On the 27th of February Samsung delivered foldable samples to Apple with a display size of 7.2 inches, a fraction smaller than that for the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
More importantly, for us Android followers, Samsung Display is readying a set of samples to send to Google. It is unclear whether this is for devices planned or whether just to be used as reference devices for Google engineers. IF Google are planning on releasing a foldable phone it will not be until at least 2020 with development and prototyping yet to begin it is far too late to expect to see it arrive at the Made By Google event this year.
The smartphone industry seems to be stagnating and this whole new category could open up a new line of sales so it seems pertinent that both Google and Apple do not get left behind with this burgeoning innovation. We have already seen the world’s top two smartphone manufacturers, Samsung and Huawei announce their in the past couple of weeks with more expected to arrive in the upcoming months.
At this stage Samsung can only produce 200,000 foldable displays per month (2.4 million per month) but is reportedly looking to increase capacity to 10 million units per year to sure up their place at the top of smartphone AMOLED manufacturers going forwards.
If Apple (and to a much lesser extent Google) decide to produce a foldable smartphone you can be sure that the technology will take off and we will not only see a lot more foldable phones from all manufacturers but an exponentially increasing development of the technology and software enhancements that they use.
It may well once again be an exciting time for smartphone lovers with this new technology. Hopefully it will become a useful innovation but time will tell.
What are your thoughts on foldable displays?