A tablet that folds into a smartphone just might work

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| June 11, 2014


In recent years it would seem like manufacturers in this industry are really focusing in on trying to turn tablets into smartphones, or perhaps it’s turning smartphones into tablets. Either way, somebody somewhere is bent on making sure that the two become one, and thus far the only solution has been to keep increasing the size of smartphones so much that they actually measure up to the same size as some tablets. Samsung’s new Galaxy W smartphone surpassed ‘phablet’ territory and shot straight into tablet-sized smartphone. As surprising (or not surprising) as it is, Samsung doesn’t seem to be stopping there when it comes to trying to find the perfect solution for a smartphone and tablet hybrid.


In recent reports, we learn of rumors that Samsung may be prepping for a new 8 or 9-inch tablet. That’s not anything particularly interesting - Samsung releases new tablets all the time, right? This tablet, however, is rumored to have a foldable display. The foldable display would help turn the mid-sized tablet into a smartphone. It’s one of those ideas that kind of makes you raise an eyebrow because we’ve never seen anything like it before, but at the same time it might just be an idea that works.


I’ve mentioned before how I think that smartphones are getting to be utterly ridiculous sizes at this point. Really, anything above a 6-inch display is really pushing it for most general audiences. Still, a big display is great for people who don’t want to tote around both a tablet and a smartphone, but it’s still kind of a hassle when you’re trying to use that big ol’ gadget to make phone calls with one hand. Perhaps trying to mash tablets and smartphones together by trying to figure out the “perfect” screen size isn’t the way to go after all. Maybe it really is better for each gadget to have their separate screen sizes. For this reason, a foldable display might actually make things work.


I’m not going to lie, I’ve been pretty bored with the industry lately. Nothing really seems to stand out to me as strikingly bold or interesting. Most features and designs have already been done before. Samsung’s Galaxy W wasn’t anything new or exciting, it was just ridiculously over the top. However, something like a foldable display might actually bring something new or exciting to the table. I think what Alex said in his post was spot on - something like this will probably come at a premium price at first. But I do wonder if such a hybrid device could really make it out there today. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that people were saying phablets would never get anywhere, yet look how prominent they are now. There’s no escaping them.


The idea of combining a tablet with a smartphone in such a way does seem like an appealing option. It would probably be something I would consider getting for myself. Right now I can’t really fathom how something of the sort would even be made, but it does sound like an interesting concept. Flexible displays have already been dabbled with as we’ve seen with the LG G Flex and the Galaxy Round, so a foldable display wouldn’t be too far-fetched in 2015 (when the rumored device is said to be unveiled).


I don’t know. I own a tablet, but I don’t use it often because it’s usually a hassle to tote that and my smartphone around. If it was an all-in-one solution though, I would probably be more inclined to use it. I could use the big screen when I needed to, or the small screen when that was more convenient. It would be nice to have both options available all the time, instead of trying to compromise sizes in order to make a phablet which neither works that well as a phone or a tablet for me.


Only time will tell if this device is real, but I can say that I’m actually kind of hoping that it is. I think it would actually be an interesting and innovative move if Samsung can pull that off.


Readers, what are your thoughts on this? Would you like a foldable tablet/smartphone hybrid? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!


Images via PC Pro, iTech Future

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