Editorial: Apple's waiting game on foldable iPhones is no surprise

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 63
    gatorguy said:

    Honestly by looking at the folding phones that have been demoed so far, it has obviously been a rush to be first and little thought has been put into the software or hardware for that matter. 
    Tough to comment when you haven't seen any of them yet, and certainly don't know how "usable" buyers find them. There's no reason to rush to judgment or assume that if it didn't come from Apple it must of course be useless.  They'll be in consumer's within a few months, and comments from them will actually mean something.  
    How would it be difficult for me to form an opinion from what has been demoed? The screens are warped plastic, the user experience shown looks wonky at best and the hardware looks clunky and fragile. I didn’t find it difficult at all to form an opinion. 

    ..and if Apple released any of these I would say the same thing, but that’s the point of my comment, they didn’t, because of reasons only Apple knows. But if I had to take a stab at it, it’s because the tech just isn’t quite there yet. 
    radarthekatsuddenly newtonWandiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 63
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Yes, Apple will survive.  After all, they are primarily a software company and the hardware is merely the vehicle used to deliver that software and its functionality.

    But, if predictions are correct and Apple has neither a foldable phone nor a 5G phone much less both, that hardware is going to look pretty dated this this September.

    Yes, Apple will survive.   But expect another sales hit as some opt for a competitor and some opt to wait for more modern hardware.
    muthuk_vanalingamWandi
  • Reply 23 of 63
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,730member
    Yes, Apple will survive.  After all, they are primarily a software company and the hardware is merely the vehicle used to deliver that software and its functionality.

    But, if predictions are correct and Apple has neither a foldable phone nor a 5G phone much less both, that hardware is going to look pretty dated this this September.

    Yes, Apple will survive.   But expect another sales hit as some opt for a competitor and some opt to wait for more modern hardware.
    There's no odds being first;

    "One way to evaluate Apple: as creators of a category’s final form."


    https://www.macworld.com/article/3343047/beneath-the-fold-the-reality-about-apple-and-foldable-screens.html
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 63
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,659member
    There are still a ton of unknowns regarding how the foldable-screen phones will work, the user interface, etc.

    One big question I have is battery life. The display is one of, if not the biggest consumer of power in phones these days and having a screen that is twice as large not only doubles its power consumption but reduces the battery life unless the entire device is made significantly thicker. 

    Beyond that, material fatigue, screen durability and scratching are questions. Time will tell. The technology is cool but I'm not looking to spend another $2k on a phone right now, so whether Apple has one or not is really of no consequence to me.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 63
    The difficulty Apple has to navigate IMO is services and hardware often have goals contradictory to each other. Hardware you want premium prices and max profit per device. Apple has been great at that. Services wants the most users possible. Since Apple really only supplies services to it's own ecosystem you need max number of devices and maximum possible users. That means cheaper hardware and lower margins. Apple doesn't seem to be very successful at services (excluding app store and iTunes) because they go with the hardware model. How they navigate both I'm not sure. 
  • Reply 26 of 63
    But, if predictions are correct and Apple has neither a foldable phone nor a 5G phone much less both, that hardware is going to look pretty dated this this September.
    5G is still a bit of a s#!* show. There have been plenty of good articles on Ars Technica and other technical sites discussing the current problems.

    It's a battery hog.
    Different carriers in different countries are using radically different frequency ranges.
    The back-end infrastructure often isn't there to support anything near 5G speeds.

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/3327556/5g-2019.html
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/12/dont-buy-a-5g-smartphone-at-least-not-for-a-while/
    edited February 2019 tmayMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 63
    If you thought bend gate was bad, just wait for tear gate. It's fun to look at the folding Android phones but every one of them looks flimsy. I am way more excited about Apple's augmented reality for a big screen experience on an iPhone with tons of extra capability that no flat or folding screen can ever provide.
    80s_Apple_Guywatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 63
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 4,046member
    Fordable phone is lame; the aspect ratio is messed up; am I do you only one seeing this wrong?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 63
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    With a Steve type, Apple would have started years ago and now crush the competition with the best foldable solution on the planet.
    With a Tim type, Apple will do some vague announcement and accomplish nothing (not willing to put the iPad at risk)
    Keep milking the iPad mini form factor...
    edited February 2019
  • Reply 30 of 63
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    MplsP said:
    There are still a ton of unknowns regarding how the foldable-screen phones will work, the user interface, etc.

    One big question I have is battery life. The display is one of, if not the biggest consumer of power in phones these days and having a screen that is twice as large not only doubles its power consumption but reduces the battery life unless the entire device is made significantly thicker. 

    Beyond that, material fatigue, screen durability and scratching are questions. Time will tell. The technology is cool but I'm not looking to spend another $2k on a phone right now, so whether Apple has one or not is really of no consequence to me.
    Both phones have dual batteries. The Mate X might have a relatively easy to replace batteries too and has been described as ultra long life. We'll have to see if that is more than just marketing.

    Huawei has some advanced battery technology that hasn't been put into a product yet. I think until after the P30 series release we won't know much more about the battery but as things stand, the 55W Supercharge tech should keep most users going. The charger that will ship in the box can also apparently charge a laptop.
  • Reply 31 of 63
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Another hype that didn't work is VR. A few years ago VR was hyped a lot like AI is today.Google, Facebook, HTC all brought out very expensive headsets like these foldable phones. But Apple never participated. Today how much media is talking about VR? Apple raise XS over $1000 and got tremendous negativity. It is clear that what is the critical price point. Even the MacBook Pros are not hot sellers because they are very expensive. Galaxy Fold and Mate X will be lucky if they can sell millions of them. That is all they can sell. 
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 63
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,393member
    gatorguy said:

    Honestly by looking at the folding phones that have been demoed so far, it has obviously been a rush to be first and little thought has been put into the software or hardware for that matter. 
    Tough to comment when you haven't seen any of them yet, and certainly don't know how "usable" buyers find them. There's no reason to rush to judgment or assume that if it didn't come from Apple it must of course be useless.  They'll be in consumer's within a few months, and comments from them will actually mean something.  
    How would it be difficult for me to form an opinion from what has been demoed? The screens are warped plastic, the user experience shown looks wonky at best and the hardware looks clunky and fragile. I didn’t find it difficult at all to form an opinion. 

    ..and if Apple released any of these I would say the same thing, but that’s the point of my comment, they didn’t, because of reasons only Apple knows. But if I had to take a stab at it, it’s because the tech just isn’t quite there yet. 
    So not as much "obviously" anything as it is the pre-production demos don't impress you. That's fair enough. The production ones might not either, nor might they impress me.  The only thing I can say with certainty is a folding phone isn't for me and I wouldn't personally realize any benefit from one. Otherwise I can wait to pass judgement. 
    edited February 2019
  • Reply 33 of 63
    Latko said:
    With a Steve type, Apple would have started years ago and now crush the competition with the best foldable solution on the planet.
    With a Tim type, Apple will do some vague announcement and accomplish nothing (not willing to put the iPad at risk)
    Keep milking the iPad mini form factor...
    You mean the Steve who added 3G to the iPhone a year or more after everyone else? Apple under Steve always waited till the tech was mature enough to function at Apple standards. 
    radarthekattmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 63
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,384member
    Latko said:
    With a Steve type, Apple would have started years ago and now crush the competition with the best foldable solution on the planet.
    With a Tim type, Apple will do some vague announcement and accomplish nothing (not willing to put the iPad at risk)
    Keep milking the iPad mini form factor...
    Actually, no other company has been more willing to cannibalize it's own products than Apple.  And they did exactly that when they started releasing the Plus sized variants. As for the "milking" of the Mini, if that were true, then they would be releasing a new one every year and even possibly adding a Pro version of it as well.  One upgrade in the last four years hardly constitutes "milking". 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 63
    Foldable phones are going to go the way of 3D TV
    In 5 years they will still be a very very small percentage of phones sold.
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 63
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    You can by a iPhone and a iPad for cheaper than one of these folding phones!!! Folding phones which have a Plastic Screen. So it's not going to feel the same using it and it'll scratch pretty easily. They also don't seem to lay quite flat. So these are issues iphones users are going to care about.

    Are these things really for prime time? I don't think so. I'd wait for at least a 2nd generation version if not 3rd. Let the others be beta testers. People are already complaining about sky high prices. On high end phones. These folding phones are 2 or 3 times the price of a normal phone. Is there really a market for these things or will they bomb and stop making them in a couple years?

    Right now I wouldn't buy one even if Apple was making one. That's be a $3K iPhone. No thanks!!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 63
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,509moderator
    To those who are asking if they are the only ones seeing the aspect ratio issue or the user experience issues with these early, maybe too early, incarnations, nope, you aren’t the only ones.

     To me it seems both companies decided that the fact there now exists the technology to fold a display was reason enough to build phones that exploit that capability, but history has repeatedly shown that mere ability to do something is not, in itself, reason to do so.   See flying cars, personal jet packs. 3D movies in the 1950s and televisions more recently, even the tablet, in the form of Newton and Palm Pilot.  Some were simply impractical from a societal standpoint (too dangerous, for example), but many were simply brought to market long before they could be ideally executed.  Only historians talk seriously about the electric car that was introduced in 1891, and even today, 128 years later, the form is still not a slam dunk versus I.C.E vehicles.  Apple is known for waiting, not merely until something is possible, but until it can utilize new technologies to provide a better user experience without compromise.  My initial review of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, posted here immediately after its introduction, stands (reposted below):

    Fat Phone, Square Tablet

    Does anyone remember 2014’s Blackberry Passport.  It wasn’t lauded for its square display; it was mocked.  And no other manufacturer until now has released anything of significance with a square aspect ratio.  This issue alone is likely what keeps Apple at the drawing board, if they haven’t already walked away from the entire concept.  How do you combine the 9:16 aspect ratio of a smartphone, which in portrait offers a natural document scrolling solution and in landscape offers an ideal video viewing solution, with a tablet’s aspect ratio (Apple’s are 4:3 in the more commonly held landscape orientation)?

    Square is just not a very useful aspect ratio.  It’s not great for documents; if you size to fit in the horizontal dimension, then you don’t get very much of the document shown at-a-time in the vertical dimension.  Try this on an iPad by holding it in portrait in a webpage and then tapping the browser bar to bring up the keyboard.  What’s left shown of the webpage is what a square display presents all the time, without even a keyboard being displayed.  Then imagine a keyboard intruding into that space.  At least the Blackberry had a separate physical keyboard.  Square also doesn’t offer anything different when rotating to landscape.  So watching videos or working a spreadsheet aren’t going to very satisfying experiences on such a screen.  

    The Samsung Galaxy Fold is yet another refrigerator combined with a toaster.  One function defeats the other.  The toaster warms the device, which as a fridge is fighting to keep food cold.  The Fold as a tablet defeats the pocketability of a smartphone by being 2.4x the thickness of iPhone XS, while adding the very real potential of a vector for mechanical failure, and a poor tablet experience.  And as other commenters have speculated, it’s likely that the finger feel on the tablet display, due to it being plastic-covered and not glass, will provide another point of user experience compromise.  

    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 63
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,272member
    fallenjt said:
    Fordable phone is lame; the aspect ratio is messed up; am I do you only one seeing this wrong?
    I think aspect ratio means less here as you have different ratios on the same device.

    Huawei laptops moved away from wide-screen back to 3:2 and was praised for the seemingly unusual move.

    The Mate X folded main screen looks like a good screen for video playback and the unfolded a screen will be fine for everything else (split screen included, of course).

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 39 of 63
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,509moderator

    The difficulty Apple has to navigate IMO is services and hardware often have goals contradictory to each other. Hardware you want premium prices and max profit per device. Apple has been great at that. Services wants the most users possible. Since Apple really only supplies services to it's own ecosystem you need max number of devices and maximum possible users. That means cheaper hardware and lower margins. Apple doesn't seem to be very successful at services (excluding app store and iTunes) because they go with the hardware model. How they navigate both I'm not sure. 
    I disagree and so does the market.  Android already has by far the most users, yet the money they spend on apps and media and music, combined, is less than what Apple’s much smaller set of users spend.  When selling products or services, you want the most high-value customers, as measured over their lifetime as your customers (lifetime value of a customer is a thing).
    tmaysuddenly newtonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 63
    gatorguy said:
    Good article and I am totally with it. The waiting game for Apple will rip rewards at the end. It's been like this throughout Apple history. Huawei's and Samsung's folding phones will be the perfect guinea pigs for use in Apple's lab. Apple will take them apart, improve upon it and knock their socks off with Apple version of folding iPhone.
    Somebody has to go first....
    That’s how we as a species learned what “acute radiation poisoning” was. Somebody was first to realize playing with radium would have unhealthy side effects. Going first paved the way for those came later.
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