After years of rumors, patent applications and promises, 2019 should finally become a foldable smartphone with a flexible display mainstream. Two of the world's largest phone manufacturers, Samsung and Huawei, have announced plans to introduce foldable phones: the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X.
In recent weeks, the trend towards folding cell phones seems to be in great trouble – for reasons we could not predict when both devices were first uncovered. After reports of display errors on the Galaxy Fold appeared on the Internet by some media outlets at the end of April and uneven spots appeared below the screen, Samsung quickly delayed the planned launch of the phone on April 26. So far, the company has not yet announced a new release date for the Galaxy Fold.
The people at Huawei must have been satisfied when Samsung announced the delay. It seemed to pave the way for the Mate X to launch the Galaxy Fold. What Huawei did not expect was the US government's blacklist last week, which meant that US companies could not provide hardware or software for Huawei devices.
On Sunday, Google announced that it would comply with the US government's order. While the US Department of Commerce has since allowed Google and other companies to offer software updates for current Huawei products until August 19, this exception does not currently apply to future devices, which would in fact include the Mate X.
While Huawei reportedly works on it As a separate mobile operating system, it may not be ready for new devices until the fall. There is also no information on whether this operating system works with foldable phones. Google has already added this to Android. Huawei may not be able to provide this additional functionality in Mate X for the upcoming operating system.
Is the trend for the foldable phone cursed?
These developments are only the latest in the rather troubled story trying to bring foldable phones. Samsung and other companies have been demonstrating prototypes of these devices for years, but it seems that until recently it was difficult to mass-produce such devices with a foldable display.
Even now, some worry about the foldable plastic displays of the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X will not last long. To be fair, both Samsung and Huawei claim that the results of their test labs show that the flexible displays of the Galaxy Fold and the Mate X should last for several years. However, as most people know, the conditions in a lab are very different than in the real world. People can always create situations that can not be tested or even predicted in the lab, as we saw in the display errors of some Galaxy Fold reviewers.
Work has been done to create foldable glass displays, but no idea when available. Corning, makers of the rugged Gorilla Glass displays found on so many smartphones, say they have prototypes of flexible glass screens in their labs, but we may have to wait awhile for them to fit into future smartphones.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, no one could have predicted that the fate of Mate X would be jeopardized by Huawei's ban on the US government. It's the kind of left-field development that has unfortunately become part of the trend towards foldable phones.
What about the foldable Motorola RAZR phone?
<img class = "size-large wp-image-980663 aligncenter" src = "https://cdn57.androidauthority.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/motorola-razr-jjut-slashleaks-1 -840×473.jpg "alt =" An obvious Motorola RAZR leak] With the Galaxy Fold and Mate X currently in limbo, the Motorola RAZR may be the only other foldable phone to hit the market in the near future The phone, which is said to have a clamshell design resembling the original classic RAZR phone, was first reported in January of The W all Street Journal This time frame came and went without such an announcement. "During the MWC 2019, Motorola VP of Global Product Dan Dery stated that the company had" no intention to appear later than anyone else in the market "when it did to go to the trend to foldable phones It looks like Motorola is in no hurry to bring a competing device to market. In May, Motorola's parent company, Lenovo, showed some media representatives a render video of the foldable RAZR phone. As it turned out, most of the video was made by a fan who had not previously been contacted by the company for using his creation.
It is now the end of May, and we have no idea when Motorola will actually announce much less release, the foldable RAZR smartphone. It's possible that the company has decided to test the phone for a while longer, so Samsung does not have the same problems with the Galaxy Fold.
Did LG have the right idea all the time?
Maybe we should have listened to the opinion of another company more closely. LG has been working on its own foldable displays for some time and should present its own foldable prototype for mobile phones at the beginning of 2019 at CES. However, in February, the company made a statement that it does not see a favorable market for "an expensive, foldable first-generation smartphone."
To the best of our knowledge, LG could have encountered display durability issues when testing its own foldable phone prototype and decided it was not the time to bring out such a device. In fact, Lenovo recently announced plans to launch a Windows-based laptop with a foldable, flexible display whose screen comes from LG. However, this product will not be available until 2020.
After all, there is no reason to hurry.
In a previous commentary, we pointed out that Samsung did not have to hurry to compete in Huawei's foldable telephone race. Since Huawei may have its own delay for the Mate X and it is not clear when Motorola will launch the RAZR phone, it is more important than ever for Samsung to take the time to ensure that the Galaxy Fold does not have any problems. In fact, Samsung should just wait until Android Q is installed in its first foldable phone.
Regarding Huawei, it is possible that the current trade war between China and the US is cooling and Huawei again Get access to Android in its future phones. However, we would not bet that this will happen soon. It seems like Huawei's plans for foldable phones for the Mate X are in flux, similar to the entire smartphone business.