Foldable Phones are Dying Off Instead of Becoming the Next Big Innovation

They have been hailed as the next big step in innovation, but they serve no practical purpose

Walid AO
5 min readNov 28, 2020


Foldables phones, such as Samsung Galaxy Fold 2, are fascinating. The hardware, foldable screen, and software innovations are noticeable, but does innovation always mean practicality? The answer is a solid “NO” — these phones are just a fad, and they will go away very soon.

My conclusion is based on past market trends as well as current foldable adaptations. So, Let’s get down to business and go through the observations.

Brief history

Mobile phones went through multiple iterations throughout their history. However, three iterations are the most noticeable:

Third-party applications
On the contrary to popular belief, third-party applications are not new. Nokia Symbian operation system allowed a third-party application to be installed on the phone since the late 90s. Actually, Nokia Communicator, released in 1996, already allowed for 3rd-party apps.

Full keyboard
As texting became more popular, smartphone manufacturers started to include full keyboards into their phones. Blackberrys, The Sidekick, and Nokia phones all had models on the market with full keyboards in the early to mid-2000s.

Multi-touch display
The iPhone, released in 2007, paved the way for the general smartphone design we know nowadays. This smartphone iteration came as a result of increasing video consumption over the internet. Video consumption was not the only reason, but it accelerated the adaption of full-sized multitouch displays on smartphones without physical keyboards.

What is positive about a foldable phone?

Having a large screen in your pocket is great. Studies have shown that dual screens boost productivity significantly. Imagine being able to watch Netflix on your phone on one screen and…