Samsung has announced innovation that has the potential to become revolutionary. The important thing now is not to confuse things, Leonid Bershidski writes in Bloomberg's analysis, which the BTA has borrowed.
On Wednesday, November 7, when rumors and speculation have passed in years, Samsung has finally released a smartphone with folding screen that it plans to launch next year. The danger of being a laughable teenager, I think, is an innovation that can have a revolutionary iPhone size. If the manufacturer can work properly.
The technology is quite ripe for some time. Organic, light-emitting compounds and electrical circuits that give them a charge can be printed on the membrane and embedded in rigid glass. However, the challenge of producing folding display was enormous.
How does a folding device that is thin enough fit into a pocket and still has a battery that can use large screen for intensive use? What kind of connections are needed to make the phone fold out comfortably and safely? How many times have one of the screens been bent before breaking it? How do mobile applications return to the right size when moving from large to small displays and vice versa?
Some technical problems have not yet been resolved. For example, Samsung has apparently not yet found a way to embed a fingerprint reader into a foldable display, as it did in its new generation of glass phones.
It is also claimed that the logic of the business of such a company is contradictory. Why would anyone want a folding phone and what technology would revolutionize this?
Traditional smartphones are large enough to make tablets unnecessary for most people. The market for tablets, even turning off the keyboard, like Microsoft Surface and its clones, shrinks. The number of devices shipped decreased by 5.4% over the previous three months in September, according to IDC's market research firm.
When Royole launched his folding phone in an attempt to beat Samsung, who had been able to play with him, the author wrote that feeling was a smarter toy than a revolutionary device.
Although Samsung looks cautious and treats a folding phone as a market boom with growth opportunities.
However, I think the doubts are similar to those that emerged when Apple introduced its first iPhone. Who wants a touch screen phone and how does he compete with a huge selection of devices on the market? Of course, this does not undo doubts – there are rather technical innovations that have not spread wings.
Do you remember the Amazon fire phone that promised something like Star Wars holograms to appear on the screen? It turned out to be a waste.
Once I said, Amazon is not such a company that has to come up with such adventurous innovations – as the developer team did not need to make a new 3D feature important for consumers. Samsung and Google, which are helping the South Korean giant and other smartphone makers in the Androida folding equipment – have some. There are also convincing reasons for both consumers and manufacturers to move to the new technology.
It's true that 6-inch screens kill the tablets. This has happened since Samsung released the Galaxy Note in 2011 by screaming "Who want such a huge phone?" People, however, chose these big screen smartphones as compromises simply because the tablets are not pocket size and uncomfortable for ordinary phone calls and text messages.
Reading, watching videos, and playing games on a large screen phone are, however, not particularly attractive. Writing long messages to small keyboards is a skill that some people can not control, at least without developing a disease called "smartphone-thumb". All this is tolerable but tiring. Trying to show something to a friend on the screen when trying to watch you, including acrobatics training.
The distribution of folded phones can also be significant for manufacturers. Regardless of how durable the foldable screen polymers, it is consumed by many bending, which creates a natural (though hoping for) reasonable need for correction. This can facilitate sales and production planning. Now, the average US smartphone upgrade period is 32 months compared to 24 to 25 months in 2013 and 2014. Cutting the cycle, even a little bit, raises the smartphone market and may end the downturn in sales, down 2.1% for three months to June.
Samsung and Google need to play their cards properly. It is important for a South Korean producer to receive praise from his first new product and to ensure that the first buyers have not begun to complain about quality too soon. Google is important to adjust Android so that developers do not require too much work to adapt it to a fold-out display. This is a big hurdle that must be overcome before Samsung puts anything on the market. Using a device without the at least most of the applications used is fully compatible with a changing form is a factor that can kill a potential revolution in the fetus.
It does not need everything to be perfect. The first iPhone was not and it sold only one or two million units quarterly in the first year. It's just good enough for first users to appreciate its benefits. It's only a few years to be widely accepted, as long as there are no quality and compatibility issues. Technology eventually ends if Apple, who buys iPhones screens from Samsung and LG (another company that drives folding screens) has also moved. Care has repeatedly worked after testing from other manufacturers – larger screen sizes, multiple camera lenses, round glasses, and other gradual turns.
None of this has been provided. I'm going to have Samsung and Google chance.
/ BTA /