As Samsung (re)unveiled its clamshell folding telephone final week, I saved seeing the identical query pop up amongst my social circles: why?
I used to be questioning the identical factor myself, to be sincere. I’m undecided even Samsung is aware of; they’d win me over by the top, however solely considerably. The halfway-folded, laptop-style “Flex Mode” means that you can place the telephone on a desk for hands-free video calling. That’s fairly neat, I suppose. However… is that it?
The very best reply to “why?” I’ve provide you with to date isn’t a really satisfying one: As a result of they’ll (maybe). And since they kind of must do one thing.
Let’s time-travel again to the early 2000s. Telephones had been bizarre, assorted and no producers actually knew what was going to work. We had fundamental flip telephones and Nokia’s indestructible bricks, however we additionally had telephones that swiveled, slid and included chunky bodily keyboards that appeared completely essential. The Sidekick! LG Chocolate! BlackBerry Pearl! Most had been fairly unhealthy by at this time’s requirements, nevertheless it was no less than straightforward to inform one mannequin from the following.
Then got here the iPhone in 2007; an oblong glass slab outlined much less by bodily buttons and switches and extra by the software program that powered it. The gadget itself, a silhouette. There was hesitation to this method, initially; the primary Android telephones shipped with swiveling keyboards, trackballs and numerous sliding pads. As iPhone gross sales grew, everybody else’s buttons, sliders and keyboards had been boiled away as designers emulated the iPhone’s type issue. The very best reply, it appeared, was a easy one.
Twelve years later, all the things has change into the identical. Telephones have change into… boring. When everyone seems to be attempting to construct a greater rectangle, the battle turns into one in all hardware specs. Which one has the quickest CPU? The very best digital camera?