At the second attempt, Samsung got its much-trumpeted foldable Galaxy phone to market this autumn. Motorola has followed suit with its foldable Razr phone. And there are several other manufacturers with skin in this game.
If you can stomach the price tag, owning a foldable phone will certainly make quite a statement. They are big, bright and some might say brash. But will they add value to your business?
Unless the value is being seen as innovative and an early adopter, we’d have to say no at present. Buy one today and it will feel like a lot of compromise one way or another. For instance, the Samsung is powerful with a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage – but it is BIG. The Motorola is small but undercooked in terms of processing power with just 6GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 710 chipset and up to 128GB storage.
But that’s not to say foldable devices will never add value. Prices will come down and we will start to see a track record of durability, reliability and performance. For example, if manufacturers can get the spec of a current high-end phone into a handset that shrinks down to the size of phones 15 years ago, that could be genuinely useful.
These phones are shipping with some apps optimised for foldable screens. But in the coming years, this may be a way further business value could be added. It will be interesting to see how app developers utilise the extra functionality that the folding hardware affords.
And other types of bendy screens will join the party in the future, such as roll-up TVs. These may help business people who have to present out in the field.