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Foldable mobiles - Why we need them.

Foldable mobiles - Why we need them.

Last week we saw the introduction of 2 foldable phones.

First, Samsung came out with the Galaxy Fold with an intricate hinge enabling each face to close "together".

Samsung Fold - February 2019

Samsung Fold - February 2019

Then a few days later, Huawei came out with the Mate X. This time, faces of the phone fold “back to back”.

Huawei Foldable Mate X - February 2019

Huawei Foldable Mate X - February 2019

At a high level, both phones have a similar idea, but different approaches to folding screens.

Both look great, but I do think Huawei's design and interpretation language (of what a foldable phone is or should be) is much closer to what I would expect…

As a kid, I dreamed of having such a device, as I remember watching 2001 and the tablets/phones they had on the spaceship.

But the goal of this post isn’t to talk about who does what better and if this is a good design or not.

This post is about why I think this is good for us, the consumer.

Folding, foldable, falcon screens, bla bla bla...

Call it what you want, we need some change in the mobile department. I've been an avid iPhone user for the past 10 years and as much as I think these phones are great, I think Apple has pretty much hit a design limitation - iPhones are a little boring.

Whether you add or remove a home button, make the screen bigger or bezels smaller we've had these designs for years and this needs to change.

I understand some will say, hey boomseb, cars have been essentially the same for 100 years, so what's your point?

Well, as a big fan of design, architecture and understanding that markets are capitalist at the foundation, I still think challenging the status quo is critical as humans.

From cars, homes to mobiles, humans need to remain creative and it's at the foundation of our being. We explore, we challenge, we try things.

That's why I think these design "trials" if I can use this expression at this point, are fun and challenging the status quo in the industry.

Again, don't get me wrong, Apple has great mobiles and devices, but I feel they've been taking fewer and fewer risks as the years go by.

Remember Blackberry? Me neither.

BB didn't change and didn't answer market pressures and competitors - coming up with better mobiles and designs wasn’t a preoccupation and so, BB is now dead from my perspective. So Apple needs to address this design and bring something different.

Now is this design actually useful or not? Great question and I don't know until I try one.

Do I need this? Will it make my life better? Will it change the world, cure cancer and feed the poor?


But is it creative? Fun? Different? 


And that's my point, why not?

Who ever decided mobiles should be like this or like that? Jonathan Ive at Apple? Nope.

Design isn’t about continuing what was done, but to challenge it.

Yes sometimes it’s better to stick to what works, but why not have some fun, take some risks?

If there’s one company who should, it’s Apple and I don’t see that right now.

So here’s a message to Samsung, Huawei (name I’ll never pronounce correctly) and to all Apple competitors out there…

Push the envelope. Push the designs. Take some risks. Don’t become another BlackBerry; risk what you have, as you may have nothing anyways…

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