Is foldable smartphone the answer to rekindling the interest among the user community? If you go by the reports emerging from companies like Samsung and Huawei, this appears to be so. These reports, call them leaks or rumours or whatever, suggest that there could be a series of clamshell design smartphones folding inward and outward, which may be launched by Samsung starting early 2020.
This development comes along with the information that there has been an overall drop of around 8% in the sales volumes of smartphones in the premium segment in the first quarter of this year compared to last year. A lot of experts are pointing out that the phone makers have virtually exhausted the options to make changes in the designs of the phones and the novelty element is lost. Adding a larger-sized camera or providing more sensors etc. have failed to evoke interest among the buyers.
Even if you consider the foldable smartphone segment, the South Korean major did demonstrate its Samsung Galaxy Fold phone with a 6.7inch tablet-like phone in March this year. But the phone is yet to be made commercially available in the market since there were some technical issues detected. Last heard, this model may be released in the month of August.
But there are other independent reports which suggest that Samsung has plans to launch more foldable devices, at least one of which folds horizontally. Now there is news of a foldable phone that opens outward.
Incidentally, the Chinese major Huawei too is expected to launch an outwardly folding smartphone and this particular report talks about Samsung beating Huawei to it. The Chinese company has had its share of problems primarily arising out of its running afoul of the US administration. The report claims Huawei wants to make this outward-folding smartphone 5G enabled and that is the reason for the delay.
Coming back to the design trends in the smartphone market, Samsung seems to seriously believe that foldable phones are the answer to the challenge of falling sales volumes.