By: Nick Gambino
The smartphone industry is obsessed with the fold. I’m not sure if it’s rooted in an absolute faith in the concept or simply driven by fear that they will be left out of a paradigm shift. Whatever the reason for the current fold craze, it’s clear that Samsung is sticking with it for the foreseeable future. They just unveiled a design for their new foldable phone, and it’s a departure from its not-so-popular predecessor.
The design for the new foldable phone (no name as of yet) is reminiscent of a flip phone. Instead of folding vertically like the Galaxy Fold, this one follows a clamshell design and folds horizontally into a compact square that should fit “squarely” in your pocket.
If you’re looking for more info on the phone, I have nothing for you. While the design was unveiled at the Samsung Developer Conference, they didn’t say much about it, and seemed to soft leak it amongst talk of software.
— Samsung US Newsroom (@SamsungNewsUS) October 29, 2019
“This brand-new form factor that we’re now exploring will not only easily fit in your pocket, but it also changes the way you use your phone,” Sally Hyesoon Jeong, the head of Framework R&D at Samsung, said during the conference.
That’s about all we know as of now. The design is more appealing than the current Galaxy Fold being sold for nearly $2,000. If it works without glitches (and that’s a big “if” going off the current iteration), then this new foldable phone has a chance at being more widely adopted. That is if they can bring the price point in at a level that allows the common consumer to buy it.
If they do go ahead with this horizontal fold design without dropping the price dramatically, then it’ll be clear at that point that they are not looking for widespread adoption but to keep it as a niche item – a gimmick or novelty, if you will.
I can’t imagine ever thinking of it as more than that. I enjoyed my flip phone when that was the style and when I wasn’t working with a touch screen. I just can’t see the appeal, other than maybe it being a little more compact. But that seems like a nominal improvement that doesn’t justify the nuisance of constantly folding and unfolding my phone.