The Tech commentators are predicting that the first batch of smartphones with foldable displays will hit the market by the end of the year.
It has already been assumed that we know from countless Apple patent filings, they are very unreliable way to predict product launches, but sources like DigiTimes seem to be operating on the basis that the sheer number of companies exploring the technology means that at least some of them are wanted to make it into production.
When the foldable phone concept is considered more likely than not, Clamshell designs were once extremely popular for both feature-rich phones and smartphones, originally with a screen in one half and a keyboard or keypad in the other. That is what the foldable phone design should be, a way of generating a larger surface area in a more pocketable format.
In fact, we have seen a number of folding Android phones with screens in both halves, albeit comprising two separate displays rather than one folding one.
A Korean report suggests that Samsung will at least announce foldable phones this year even if they don’t go on sale until next year. But, another report also claims that the piece suggests that Huawei might be first to market.
Aside from that, there have been a couple of reports of Apple working on a foldable iPhone, along with the inevitable patents, with a curved display and touchless control in another. More than half of you saying that you would probably or definitely pay a premium to buy a foldable iPhone at launch.
Technically, the iPhone X also has a curved screen, though it’s only visible element which has a very slight outward curve at the edges, while the bottom of the screen does a 180-degree curve inside the casing to facilitate the near-bezel-free design.
So, Apple’s first step in that foldable direction is expected to be a modest one; a gently curved screen.
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