Over my nearly 40 years of computing experience I have seen some really dumb ideas come and go...and come again...and go again.
Why some technology companies persist with stupid ideas dumbfounds me.
A recent example is 3D TV.
This holy grail of tele-visual sensations has been coming and going for as long as I have been around. But it has always been crap and quite probably always will be.
Yet I will lay bets that there'll be at least another round or two of 3D TV being "the next big thing" before I die.
The most recent persistent stupid idea though has to be foldable phones, or, more precisely, phones with foldable screens.
We've been here before in a variety of forms. All of them awful, all of them fragile.
Several smart phone manufacturers have been "racing" to deliver us these things and, to be blunt, I couldn't give a rats.
For the tiny number of possible reasons to have such a thing I don't see a good enough reason to actually "need" one.
If your phone is too big for your pocket, then maybe you need to get a smaller phone or simply not put it in your pocket.
Don't get me wrong, flexible screens will be great. Hopefully they'll save us all a lot of money from screen repairs from the inevitable drops our phones experience.
But folding things, to my mind, is a bad idea.
To fold anything you create a fatigue point. The more you open and close that fold the more likely the fatigue point is to break...and breaking is inevitable.
I see this a lot in laptops and they don't fold cables as tightly/hard as a smart phone will.
Also, from a dropping perspective, the hinge point will add a new level of fragility to a phone. A phone hitting the ground will put stresses on this new hinge point and most likely fail there first...and probably earlier than if you didn;t have a hinge.
And, last but not least, the screen technology itself is brand new. If we are talking about actual un-broken viewing across the folding area (not just a very, very fine line where the fold is), then we can expect many and frequent disappointments for the early adopters.
I don't reckon we'll get much beyond "early adoption" before it all fades away (again).
Technology research firms and IT journalists agree with me.
So if I was you stay the hell away from folding phones.
Instead, buy two standard phones and look at them side by side if you need to. I reckon it will be cheaper and much, much more reliable. ;-)
UPDATE April 27th 2019 - "and ...here...we...go..." or, "I told you so"...
The picture says it all really.