Tomorrow, Samsung is going to show off something related to its first foldable smartphone. There is the expectation at this point that the company is going to show off the hardware itself, because that's definitely what the company is teasing. But the reality is we may only see concepts of the hardware that Samsung wants to use, or has developed at some point in the past. We may only see the user interface and other software elements that Samsung is planning for the upcoming device. Whatever it ends up being, the smartphone manufacturer is hoping to change up the entire industry this week.
I've seen plenty of excitement for the impending announcement on social media, which certainly makes sense. Foldable smartphones have been a Sci-Fi pipe dream for a long while, and Samsung itself has been eyeballing this reality for quite some time. But teasing the future design is one thing. Actually delivering it is another. Which is why so many people are setting their sights on Samsung's upcoming developers conference. We want to actually see it, and not just hear about how awesome it's going to be.
But then there's the reality of a first-generation foldable smartphone.
Samsung is decidedly not going to actually launch its first foldable phone this week. If the company is actually penciling in a launch date, we may see it come to life in early 2019. Despite the year, though, we're still going to be working with a first-gen device that is more than likely going to run into plenty of issues. Whether they be hardware or software related, a device like this feels like it will be ripe for quirks and potentially serious issues.
Who knows what that might actually look like, though. Maybe the displays won't orient themselves correctly as the phone is folded and unfolded. Maybe the UI won't change quickly enough. Maybe the phone's hardware integrity will diminish faster than some might expect after it has been folded and unfolded so many times with daily usage. Whatever the case, there are a lot of areas where some difficulties could arise.
Sure, Samsung is probably testing those and trying to work them out of the finished product. One would imagine that's what has been the delay for all these years. But it's still a first-gen device and preparing for minor and serious issues is just part of the deal.
And let's not forget the price! There's no way this thing isn't going to be super expensive right out of the gate.
And that's why being an early adopter for something like this will definitely play a big role. Being on the front-line of bleeding edge design for smartphones is not a new endeavor, and it sounds like the smartphone market is moving towards foldable designs as the next major "thing" for the market as a whole. (Whatever gets us away from the notch design, please.)
So, I'm curious: Are you excited about picking up Samsung's first foldable phone? Are you already planning on making the leap next year -- or whenever Samsung actually launches it? Or is this a device design you're willing to wait on and see how things shake out in a second-, or even third-generation device? Let me know!