Foldable iPhone Needs to Happen: 5 Reasons Why Foldable Phones are Here to Stay

Apple just announced what might be the biggest upgrade to the iPad line since the iPad Pro was introduced in 2015. In addition to switching to an OLED panel, with all the benefits that it entails, as well as gaining a new Apple Pencil Pro, the new iPad Pro is possibly one of if not the thinnest tablets in the market, especially for its 13-inch size. But while Apple’s new tablets are definitely worthy of attention, the company’s fans are still holding their breath for a foldable iPhone. Rumors claim that could be coming in two years, but it could also be canned at the last minute, just like the AirPower wireless charging mat if the design and performance don’t meet the meticulous company’s standards. Then again, some probably consider foldable devices as a passing fad, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apple should launch a foldable phone sooner rather than later because these devices aren’t going away, and here are the reasons why.

Designer: Semin Jun

1. Content is Still King

Chances are, you’re using your phone less for calls and more for content, which does include activities like instant messaging and chatting. The screen is the most important part of the device because it is the part that we see and use the most. Content is the primary reason for having a smartphone, whether it’s for consuming content or sometimes even creating it, so any technology that lets people enjoy more content or gives them more ways to enjoy content is always a winner. Is it any wonder, then, why phablets or phones with large screens are now the norm, despite how much Apple ridiculed its size at first?

Foldable devices solve this in two ways. Large foldable phones in the style of the Google Pixel Fold offer an experience similar to a mini iPad mini that you can still shove in your pocket and use as a regular phone to some extent. In theory, it delivers the best of both worlds, with a screen that can contain as much content as possible while still in a portable format.

Conversely, clamshell-style foldables like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series strike the problem from the opposite end. It provides a screen experience that’s exactly like a normal large phone but lets you conveniently cram the device in very small purses and pockets. It still prizes the role of content but delivers it in a design that doesn’t get in your way because of its size.

2. Falling Prices

One of the reasons why people avoid foldable phones and why they see them as luxurious fads is because of their rather mind-blowing prices. Yes, it’s expected that novel technologies and designs would cost more at the start, but foldable phones have been around for almost half a decade now, and yet most still cost a premium flagship and a half. Fortunately, things are changing for the better, even if slowly.

Designer: nubia

As the technologies and components become more common, the cost of their production will start to decrease as well. Given that there’s still plenty of room for newer designs that will involve more costs, high-end foldable phones won’t be going away any time soon. At the same time, however, that still leaves the door wide open for options on the lower rung of the price ladder. The new nubia Flip 5G, for example, is currently the most affordable among the relatively cheaper clamshell foldables. Sure, it does cut corners in a few aspects, but that is also proof that you can have “mid-tier” foldable phones in this market.

There’s definitely a great deal of interest in a cheaper book-style foldable, and that might be coming this year if not from Samsung then from its growing number of rivals. Admittedly, it might take another year before more affordable foldables become more common, but it’s something that will happen sooner rather than later.

3. Design Refinement

Even after five years, the foldable phone design is still relatively young. Given how it strays so far from normal phones, it’s not surprising that perfection still feels so far away. In other words, there’s still much to be done, and smartphone makers continue to push the boundaries, refusing to settle for the status quo. In a way, it’s a matter of pride for these brands, as well as refusing to admit defeat after investing so heavily in foldable designs.

Images courtesy of AppleInsider

Foldable phones are getting thinner to the point that a folded phone no longer feels like you have two regular phones stacked together. At the same time, others are cramming more powerful and larger cameras into these ultra-thin devices, trying to get them on the same playing field as any other flagship model. While standard smartphone designs seem to have settled down after many tumultuous years, things are just heating up for foldables. There’s still a lot to be explored, and we’re far from reaching the peak.

4. Stylish Trendsetters

Smartphones have graduated from being technological products that only tech-savvy people can truly appreciate to lifestyle items that reflect the owner’s design tastes and personal preferences. Smartphone expressiveness is becoming an important factor in how people choose devices these days, from the design of the cameras to the overall style of the phone itself. That’s part of the reason why “flip” foldable phones are reported to be outselling their larger cousins, precisely because they bring back that classy image of flip phones from decades ago.

Designer: Honor

Yes, you can dress up your regular phone slab as much as you want, but the way you open and close a foldable phone is going to be fashionable for quite a while. And you can also dress them up as much as you want, and may even offer more customization options and creativity with the styles of cases and accessories used. Everything you can do on standard phones, you can also do with foldables but with more pizzazz and a “wow!” factor.

There’s also the aspect of offering more customization options inside as well. The foldable screen is a bigger canvas you can play on, and some external Cover Screens can get creative with their designs as well. It’s a new playground for designers and creative users who want to truly make their smartphones an extension of themselves.

5. Innovation Has Just Begun

Foldable phones are just the start, however, because they are the most accessible and easiest to comprehend. Once the idea of foldable screens has become cemented in people’s minds, it will be easier to introduce newer designs that can provide even better solutions. The current foldable designs are far from perfect, but they’re paving the way for future foldable devices.

Designer: Samsung

We’re already seeing that in the PC market with the introduction of foldable laptops, but we don’t need to go that far for proof. Samsung has already shown off working prototypes of tri-fold devices that turn the phone into a larger, and more conventional tablet design. We’ll see other foldable technologies unfold (no pun intended) in the future as well, including a phone that folds both ways. And don’t forget those rollable screens that offer an alternative answer to the same screen size problem.

Apple is rumored to unveil a foldable laptop next year, with a foldable iPhone following in 2026. Honestly, the order should probably be reversed, given how MacBook owners are more meticulous about how new designs affect functionality, sometimes negatively. Either way, Apple really needs to jump on this train soon, not just because it’s trending but because it can have a significant impact in driving innovation in this space forward by leaps and bounds.