CGS-CIMB Research: Foldable Phones in 10 steps

 

1. Foldable Displays

This trend will focus on foldable displays. That’s not to say that there won’t also be foldable phones without foldable displays. We’ve already got phones like that, and they do very well in Asia. We also had some of those sorts of phones in the last decade – inside, outside, backside, displays all over the place – but this new trend has to do with Foldable Displays specifically.

2. Retail Cost will be Gigantic (at first)

The CGS-CIMB Research report estimates the first major foldable phone, the Samsung Galaxy F, will have a manufacturing cost of nearly double that of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. These analysts suggest that the first Samsung Galaxy F will have a MASSIVE end-user retail cost: $1,800 USD.

3. That Screen Cost

The most major increase in part cost to manufacture is in the Display/Touch Module. For the forecast cost of the Galaxy F, that’s $218. For the Galaxy S9 Plus, that’s a mere $79. On the other hand, the cost of the same parts for the iPhone XS Max is around $120 USD – there the jump’s not so grand.

4. Adjusted Price by 2022

The folks at CGS-CIMB Research suggested that the average price of the first foldable smartphones will be around $1700 in 2019. They suggest that by the year 2022, the average price of a foldable phone will be closer to $1300. There’ll also be far cheaper foldable phones – but with significantly lower quality panels, dependent on price.

5. Five different folds

CGS-CIMB Research projects a total of five different sorts of folds for Foldable Phones in the next couple of years. That includes in-fold, in-fold & out, Inside, Out-fold, and In & Out side fold. These folds are also called C-Infold, C+1, G, C-Outfold, and S. Below you’ll see how these different sorts of folds play out.

6. Major Screen Sizes

Three different screen sizes are pinpointed by CGS-CIMB Research as coming to Foldable Phones in the next couple years. Those include 5.2-inch, 5.8-inch, and 7-inch. The smallest of these will arrive first in the Samsung Galaxy F, which will have a 5.2-inch display that’ll fold out once into a 7.3-inch display.

7. Candybar Phones wont quit

Just because foldable display-toting smartphones will likely become the big hype over the next several years, one shouldn’t expect that the sort of phone you’ve got in your hand or in your pocket right now will disappear from the market. Phone companies still sell feature phones, after all – why get rid of a good thing?

8. Android First

Due largely to the fact that Samsung Display spearheaded development of the Foldable Display for mobile devices, Android will be the first operating system to take hold of this foldable phone trend. Google is also onboard in a very big way.

9. From Samsung to Apple

The report from CGS-CIMB Research suggests that the vast majority of major smartphone manufacturers are expected to make a foldable smartphone by the end of 2020. The report starts with Samsung, a phone company that’s rumored to release a Samsung Galaxy F, F for Foldable, in the first half of the year 2019.

Next in line – in order – are Huawei, LG, OPPO, Xiaomi, Vivo, Motorola, Microsoft, and Apple. Motorola and Microsoft start edging into the first half of the year 2020, and Apple’s most definitely not making a foldable smartphone before the second half of 2020.

10. Will I need a foldable phone?

You won’t need a foldable phone in the same way you “needed” a smartphone back in 2007. You needed a single-display, flat-screened smartphone back a decade ago to get your email on-the-go and to send text messages whenever you wanted. Now we’re in a very different world where smartphones can do a whole lot more – but foldable displays won’t change the landscape in the same way as the first smartphone did.

Foldable display-toting smartphones will be cool, and you’ll probably want to buy one, but you won’t likely need to buy a foldable smartphone just to keep up with the rest of the world. Foldable phones won’t offer any other sort of communication not offered on flat phones – for now.

By Chris Burns

How would I use it?

That’s what we were all thinking as Samsung’s Justin Denison whipped out a prototype folding smartphone. A phone that can open up to become a 7.3-inch tablet would be pretty handy when out and about. Like when writing on the go, or watching Netflix on a train or in a hotel room, for a start. A pocket-sized device that could double in size when required would be awfully handy.