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Samsung talks folding phone design, says innovation isn't dead

Phone sales declined in 2018, as analysts point to slowing innovation, but Samsung reckons its foldable handset will turn things around.

Published onJanuary 16, 2019

The Samsung foldable phone.

Between triple cameras and slider designs, it’s tough to argue that we’re not seeing at least some innovation in the smartphone space. But Samsung (unsurprisingly) thinks the real innovation will come in the display arena.

In a blog post written on the Samsung website, a company executive said “modest smartphone sales” have signaled that innovation has reached a bottleneck. This view is shared by analysts from the likes of Counterpoint Research, following a worldwide sales decline in Q3 2o18.

But Hark-sang Kim, a senior vice president at Samsung Mobile, reckons the foldable phone represents a “new era” for the smartphone.

Bringing the foldable phone to life

Kim explained that it took the company seven years to perfect the foldable technology and user experience. The executive said Samsung made “significant” investments in developing the material used in the foldable display, adding that they created a “natural and durable” folding mechanism.

“We also had to rethink the placements of the battery, cooling system, and camera so that they can be placed inside the slim body efficiently,” the executive said. Finally, Kim said you can expect an intuitive user experience featuring apps that seamlessly switch between small and large displays.

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It’s all good having a foldable phone, but will people and developers gravitate towards the form factor? The latter is especially key, as having compatible apps could help drive adoption. But app support will likely need to be meaningful in order to make the form factor viable. After all, who cares if all you’re getting is a blown-up UI on the larger screen, right?

Samsung showed off a prototype of its foldable phone last year which had a 7.3-inch foldable display (1536 x 2152 resolution), with an outward-facing screen at 4.5-inches (840 x 1960 resolution). We won’t have to wait long to see more details though, as the firm is expected to show off the device in some capacity at the Galaxy S10 event on February 20.

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