The folding smartphone, that opens up to become a tablet, has dominated the mobile device world since Samsung and Huawei showed off their new devices at MWC this year. But one of the challenges they’ll have, aside from the high prices, is convincing potential buyers that the folding mechanism will last and that the display will still look good after years of action. Samsung has released a video of their device being stress tested.
The video shows a bunch of Galaxy Fold units in a machine that repeatedly opens and closes the devices repeatedly. Samsung says the Galaxy Fold can be folded and unfolded at least 200,000 times.
At 100 times a day, that’s around five years of use – well outside the current time people hang on to smartphones (which, in Australia, is around three years.) And a recent report from Deloitte on smartphone use showed that we are hanging on to our phones for longer periods. So that longevity is a significant factor.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X gain mass market adoption. My feeling is that the newness of the tech combined with the price will make buyers cautious. And with Google, LG and Apple also forging ahead with folding phone plans of their own, it’s possible some people will be holding back to see what happens when the second-to-market devices are available.
Those will likely deal with some of the concerns people have around creases in the display and how the phones don’t completely close when folded shut.