Foldable devices were far from a hit when they first were released, the screens quickly cracked and the lifespan was not even close to matching the price tag. While they’re still not exactly rugged devices, the quality has gotten better and the technology is moving forward quickly. Competition is tightening and more companies than ever are planning to launch foldables of some kind. So will 2024 be the year when we start moving back towards flip phones?
Samsung – Pushing foldable phones and making them affordable
If you’ve visited a major city in 2023 you have probably seen a huge screen on a skyscraper promoting either a Samsung Galaxy Fold or a Galaxy Flip. The company is promoting its foldable phones more than ever. Despite this, their lead in the sector is getting shorter and with the competition getting tougher, new versions of both the Flip and Fold are expected.
Historically, foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip have been high-end devices with prices reaching up to (and even above) $1,800. However, Samsung plans to break this price barrier with a new mid-range foldable phone, potentially priced between $400-$800. This significant price reduction could make foldable technology accessible to a broader audience. Introducing more affordable models could completely transform the market.
Apple is rumored to release a foldable iPad
When Apple is entering a new market it’s usually a sign that the technology is about to become very mainstream. The tech giant is now rumored to be working on an iPad that supposedly is going to boast a foldable display of up to 20 inches. When folded the tablet would have a 15-inch screen, which in itself is quite sizeable. Combine this with a 4k resolution and you have the dream tool for many digital art designers.
Foldable tablet whispers surrounding Google as well
Google dropped its first foldable Pixel phone in June of 2023 and they are expected to drop a Foldable Pixel Tablet next. Just like with Apple, these are so far just rumours that should be taken with a grain of salt. The answer to if they’re true or not will come in about 6 months as the expectation is that the announcement will come during Google I/O 2024.
Launching the first rollable smartphones
2024 won’t only see a whole slew of new foldables released, it might also see the emergence of an entirely new phone category. They’re commonly referred to as “rollable phones” and it’s exactly what it looks like. The idea is that you can wrap the phone around your wrist and wear it like a large watch or bracelet. Motorola has together with Lenovo revealed a prototype. Oppo has a concept in the works. Now Vivo and Transsion are preparing to launch the first rollable phone commercially.
Competition is getting tougher
As we previously mentioned, Samsung’s lead in the foldable market is dwindling and more players keep joining the game. Huawei has released foldables and little-known Royole actually beat them both to market. Xiaomi, TCL, LG, ZTE, Oppo, and Honor all have a device on the market or are working on one. Add in the players we already mentioned in the text – Google, Motorola, Vivo, Transsion, Lenovo, and possibly even Apple – and you have quite the lineup. The competition is tough for the manufacturers, which usually is good for the end consumer.