Does Samsung’s Innovation Challenge Apple To ‘Fold’?

When Steve Jobs launch the iPhone in 2007, the design of nearly all smartphones was in what many call a “candy bar” shape. The screens have grown more extensive, and the performance of these phones has increased; however, the design remains the same.


This year, I went to 2018 the Society of Information Displays conference in Los Angeles and saw a groundbreaking technology in screen displays. BOE, a Chinese manufacturer of screen displays using LEDs, showcased a foldable LED display prototype. I wrote about it on my PC Mag column at the time and said that these screens that fold could offer smartphone makers a chance to depart from the candy bar-shaped factor and provide more unique and flexible designs when they incorporate these screens into future smartphones.


In 2019, Samsung inaugurate the first version of their Galaxy Z Fold smartphone, and it was a massive hit with the media and the high-end market. I was present at the launch party for the phone that folds, and I was able to play with it for a short time following the announcement at the media event. It was a great first attempt at this idea. Still, it encountered some issues with its fold or edge becoming too evident and other design flaws preventing the phone from seeing significant market acceptance.


The latest model is Galaxy Z Fold3; Galaxy Z Fold3 has removed the rough edges of the earlier models and is among the most innovative contemporary designs on the market for smartphones today. I’ve been using the model for a while now and think it is one of the top Android smartphones currently available. Its ability to switch from an ice cream bar design and an ultra-mini-tablet makes it the most adaptable phone available.


I’ve had the honor of being a follower of Samsung for a long time. When they planned to join the market in U.S. P.C. market back in the early 1990s, I was a part of the U.S. Division for five years. I conducted a study about entering the U.S. P.C. market and advised them on their channel strategy. In the time that I was there, I was also a part of the design teams. This helped me understand Samsung thoroughly and understand the South Korean company that I think is one of the best companies in technology in the world.


The innovative nature of the Galaxy Z Fold3 design epitomizes the tech-savvy visionaries behind Samsung’s strategy for mobile devices. Although the company has experienced its ups and downs, it is now one of the top smartphone firms around the globe. The Galaxy Flip3, their other smartphone that folds Galaxy Flip3 Galaxy Flip3, also utilizes the folding screen, but it can fold out into the candy bar style. It folds down to make it easy to put in pockets or a bag.
The Galaxy Flip3 has more of an audience for consumers from a positional standpoint. In contrast, the Galaxy Z Fold3, priced at $1799, is designed for the premium market and business customers. I’ve also observed a significant demand for its use in specific I.T. applications where a bigger screen phone is required for fields like the field, such as insurance adjusters and any other area where a massive amount of schematics and information could be required to be displayed on larger screens of mobile devices.


Both are outstanding examples of folding screens and place Samsung in a highly coveted lead position thanks to these models. Samsung’s expertise in folding phones, along with great mainstream smartphones, make them a formidable rival with Apple as well. You can be sure Apple is viewing the Samsung phones in that way.


Because Samsung has led the way in a brand new path in smartphone design, I’ve been asked many times to decide if Apple could release a foldable smartphone shortly.
Before I tried this Galaxy Z Fold3, I had mixed feelings on this issue. Apple has done a great effort with its latest designs as well. The iPhone 13 Max Pro has an impressive display that meets the requirements of all their customers looking for larger displays. The folding feature could be beneficial, particularly for Apple’s corporate customers that might employ it in vertical applications.


But, even though Apple has the top position in the market for premium smartphones today, should Apple decides to enter the market with a foldable phone, I’d recommend that it focus on something similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Flip3. Apple has realized that there’s a demand for smaller iPhones and has launched iPhone 13 Mini. iPhone 13 Mini for sale to satisfy the needs of those who prefer a smaller phone. If Apple develops an iPhone that flips, with an elongated footprint when closed, and with a larger screen, I think it could be the most popular model for them.


Another argument I’d consider for a bigger screen that folds iPhone is the possibility of it being an ultra-mini tablet as well as an Android phone. It’s an enormous delight for me with Galaxy Z Fold3. Galaxy Z Fold3 that I can hold much more like a tablet and less an actual smartphone in my hands when opened.


I have always been a follower of the iPad Mini, and it is one of my preferred devices for travel. It’s great to read books, watch films, or even check emails and browsing apps that I often use. However, that means I have two devices instead of just one.


If Apple created a foldable iPhone that offers the iPad mini-like user experience, I think they’d have a massive hit with their fingers.
At present, Apple does not appear to have any foldable phones planned to be released shortly. I’m sure that they’re looking into it due to their market position. However, it’s not sure if Apple even intends to develop any folding phone at present.


This lets Samsung expand its market share for folding smartphones without much competition, particularly in the category of premium smartphones. Furthermore, Samsung should make the most of its leadership position by inventing folding smartphones and marketing the current models to a broad international audience, as the interest in folding phones is increasing.
When I first saw BOE’s BOE folding prototypes back in 2018, I stated that this technology would change the way smartphones are designed, and I continue to believe this to be the case. Samsung has seen this potential and responded in a significant way. The future will show whether Apple or other major smartphone manufacturers also understand that folding screens offer an entirely new technological palette to explore and invent by using foldable screens in their future products.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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