Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is undoubtedly an impressive piece of technology, but I’m not entirely convinced that book-shaped foldable phones are the future of this technology.

I’m curious as to why Samsung started here considering the concepts it has teased, patented and played with. It’s likely an issue of resources and what’s initially achievable. But the Galaxy Fold as it is – a device that opens up like a paperback – is only the first chapter of this technology.

I say this because I don’t think a thick, cumbersome small-screen phone that folds out into a not-fully-flat tablet works as either a tablet or a phone. There are better phones and tablets and I’m not sure why a worse version of both need to be fused together.

Instead the Galaxy Fold is very much a proof of concept. A demonstration of a new technology that promises to be far more exciting with future iterations by solving genuine problems with smartphones. It’s here, in fixing things current smartphone design can’t fix, that the Fold 2, Fold 3, or Fold 4 can really thrive.Today In: Innovation

As smartphones become, well, smarter there’s an argument that they should recede from the forefront. Companies like Google and Apple already encourage less screen time with their “digital wellbeing” initiatives, and there are more apps and services – like voice controlled AI – that encourage spending less time looking at your phone.

Foldable phones can contribute to this by being physically less imposing. A large slab of glass and metal in your pocket can be replaced by a thin coil that rolls out when you need to use it. Or a flip-phone style device that you open up when it’s necessary to do so, rather than checking your phone intermittently out of pure habit. More


Jay McGregor

Jay McGregor Senior Contributor Forbes