First came ‘car phones’. Then came giant brick phones. Then came the ever shrinking 90s phones, culminating in tiny little thin flip phones. Then the size trend went the other way, with the release of the iPhone, and phone screens getting larger and larger.
Samsung is about to announce their Galaxy 10, with one version of it with a foldable screen, a technology that has been written about for decades. Although there are a few niche players with this screen tech already, a major player like Samsung means that it will become mainstream before too long. The basic idea is that your phone can be small when you want it compact, yet the screen doubles in size as it unfolds, giving you ample real estate for all of your tasks.
The engineering behind this idea is very difficult, creating thin enough displays over flexible material that will hold up to thousands of folding, without the screen breaking.
Will it be a game changer technology and design? Or purely a gimmick, meant to steal headlines, and appeal to the spendy geek? The event is in a few days. Time will tell!