The peelable, foldable phone has become the great white whale of tech | 4/24/2019 | Staff
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Analysis So. Gartner was right to be cautious about the foldable phone after all. Samsung has postponed the 3 May launch of the Galaxy Fold handset, and now Reuters reports that the Korean giant wants all the samples back.

You're welcome, reviewers will think, as the units were peeling to bits anyway. For Samsung, it's ominously reminiscent of the Note 7 recall. However, this one has started to worry the entire industry.

Smartphone - Market - Customers - Upgrades - Manufacturers

The global smartphone market is stagnating, and customers are delaying upgrades. Manufacturers are desperate to bring a bit of sizzle back to the marketplace to revive demand. The versatile foldable promises two tricks: reviving the upgrade cycle and offering higher margins as it's being sold as a "2-in-1" (tablet and phone).

Manufacturers have been increasing the price of the flagship phones but offered only incremental annual improvements, arguably slowing down the upgrade cycle even more. In the US, the average iPhone owner now upgrades only every four years – a remarkable stat. With so little eye-catching innovation, this has also accelerated the decoupling of the phone and the network contract in many markets, including the UK, as mid-range models will do. 5G is predicted to revive demand a little next year as buyers "future-proof" their purchases, but a mass-market foldable range would do so organically, goes the argument.

Foldables - Samsung - Huawei - Price - Prices

While the two foldables unveiled by Samsung and Huawei carry a boutique price in 2019, prices should fall as volumes increase.

Earlier this year Bloomberg reported that display makers including BOE and Tianma were hot stocks. Samsung and Huawei would demonstrate the concept was useful, and China's vast manufacturing engine would rev up.

Huawei - Rival - 'outie - 'innie

Huawei's foldable rival is an 'outie', not an 'innie'

Industry shudders: Do we have a big problem?

Technology - Note - LG - Sony

But it's possible that the technology is nowhere near ready. Note that LG and Sony each have an...
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