Samsung’s Galaxy Fold phone fiasco futzes the future of folding phones
Trying only leads to failure – Homer
Yesterday, I tweeted that I found the near-immediate failure of the Samsung Galaxy Fold phones as they landed in the hands of journalists very satisfactory. The reason for that word (and not “satisfying”) is because the result met my expectations.
I did not expect Samsung’s folding phones to work perfectly or be some sort of revolutionary device. What I certainly didn’t expect was that the key to their survival was not picking off a clear film adhered to the screen. Journalists are a nervous bunch, they pick at things. This was failure in both design and application.
Look, I’ll happily concede that the technology that is being used here to create OLED screens that can bend, fold and twist is innovative for sure. The application of such innovation to create a gimmick product that doesn’t really answer a begging need of the marketplace is where things started to fall apart. There is nothing, not a goddamn thing, offered by folding phones that answers a direct demand of consumers.
I’m not rooting for innovation to fail. I’m rooting for a dumb thing to fail.
I’m not a marketing executive, but why in the hell didn’t Samsung focus group test this thing before handing it off to tech journalists, the most neurotic, detail-oriented nerds in the world? I picked the speaker screen off my phone, because I could. I tear off vinyl coverings, scabs, anything with an edge that can get under my fingernails. It’s more than just a tic. I’m testing its strength to exist in this world as a functional item, whatever it is.
A device, like a phone, should be smooth, connected to itself and able to function without peeling off a screen cover. The reason I’m hammering this point into your dry skull is that it speaks to a larger problem with the concept. Innovative or not, Samsung has not perfected the folding screen. Will Apple? LG? Huawei? TCL or Motorola? Perhaps. When innovating, failure is just a stepping stone to success. Welcome to my TED Talk.
The overall scope of folding screen technology will allow innovation within many industries. Immediately one thinks of medical, especially EMTs or anyone in the field restricted by the size and shape of devices. Of course, this leads to military applications as well as civil engineering. I can’t think of specific things, but think of anything with a screen and being able to roll it out from your pocket and stick it to a wall. Use your imagination.
As for the Samsung Galaxy Fold, it’s hard to say if this is just an Xbox red ring of death situation, where the first run of the product is just shitty, or if it’s a Samsung Note 7 thing and that’s it, these things are done, move the fuck on. I still can’t get over the requirement that the screens need a clear film and a printed warning about said film in order to function. That is just not very well thought out.
There’s a reason I have been down on folding phones since I first heard about the patents and this is it. This is the reason. You could see this coming a million light years away. Not only that, but the way the screens broke on the Samsung Galaxy Fold proves that the entire concept as engineered is bullshit.
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It’s two screens, not one continuous screen that folds in half. It’s ham on one side, turkey on the other. Sure, it’s all meat but still separate. With the outside screen, I have to ask consumers interested in this thing — why in the balls do you need that many fucking screens? That sandwich is too big. My mom says your eyes are bigger than your stomach.
So call me cynical, call me contrarian, call me Devil’s Advocate — I just call it as I see it and then shit all over it. I feel like some of you can’t wait to dip your Galaxy Fold in lube and clamp it around your genitals and fuck it like a banana in a blender. Well, I’d wait until some manufacturer releases one that actually works first before you fuck the screen film off of it.
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