Being at the forefront of mobile technology doesn’t always mean executing an innovative concept first in the world. It’s more about finding the perfect time to commercially roll out a game-changing feature or radical new design, and ensuring with careful pre-production work that you’re actually improving or revolutionizing a practical use case.
In other words, Samsung should probably remain calm in the face of ZTE’s fast-approaching foldable smartphone innovation. After all, this isn’t the first company attempting a dual-screen construction, and it’s unclear just how much the Chinese OEM may have learned from Kyocera’s spectacular 2011 mistakes. Not to mention that worrying rumor of AT&T exclusivity and mystery regarding manufacturing quantities.
The real reason possibly making the market-leading chaebol anxious is its indecision in the foldable implementation process. Even after around half a decade of intense R&D efforts, the so-called Galaxy X is faced with tough “hurdles”, according to Samsung Mobile’s own President.
One of the biggest reported challenges is still settling on a versatility-enhancing design and usage scenario. There are only two main possibilities, yet hesitation lingers on, as the company’s engineers and shot callers have gone back and forth over the years.
First, Samsung tried to get fold-in technology right, and although it mostly succeeded, a shift to fold-out prototyping was decided when the former started feeling uncomfortable to routinely carry out. But now Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display are “back to square one”, based on word from the supply chain, with an inward-folding smartphone possible again.
The main advantage of a fold-out design would have been dual functionality, but a fold-in device sounds positively otherworldly, presumably enhancing portability and durability to the stuff dreams are made of.