Foldable smartphones look intriguing. But do you think it is practical? Are we ready for this new trend?
When Apple introduced the iPhone, it made a revolution in the mobile industry. So, smart tech-brands followed suit, but some did not see it coming.
Maybe no one would have expected that Nokia would be dethroned from the mobile market that soon. Even Nokia itself couldn’t believe that could happen.
But it just happened.
What happened between Apple and Nokia is called disruptive technology. It is when a new technology comes and makes the previous one obsolete.
I, myself, was reluctant to use the iPhone. I’m used to the button keyboard. Changing it to a touch-screen keyboard seemed not functional to me. It took me four Apple-iPhone generations to switch to my first iPhone.
Well, it was not only the touch keyboard. Honestly, I missed the point.
The Touch-screen keyboard was among the features that the iPhone introduced. It was about the world of the internet in a handy device.
But is every technological innovation would be like the iPhone revolution? Not necessarily, but let us see.
I’m gonna present this matter from a pro-intuitive stand point rather than from a counterintuitive one.
I will try to act as your wake-up call.
Lately, I’m seeing and hearing about new foldable smartphones. Big mobile producers are getting into the race to be the first producer of such phones.
Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, and LG have entered the race already. They have introduced quite remarkable foldable smartphones.
News is getting out about Apple’s gonna-be foldable iPhone. It indicates that Apple’s foldable smartphone might take another three years to be in the market. At the same time, news has already started about the new iPhone 13, while it has only been less than half a year since the release of the iPhone 12.
As a start, this is a smart move by these behemoth smartphone producers.
They get their customers or prospects excited already about their new products.
The one that is really good about it is Apple. No wonder why Apple is a top brand.
In a previous blog, I tried to give some explanations why we like famous brands. It is about how big and famous brands manage to bridge the gap between what consumers want and desire and what they offer.
However, the best ones distinguish themselves by fulfilling what consumers aspire for. It is another level of marketing that only the best can handle.
While these brands give you the feeling of deserving a tap on the shoulder for reaching the level of self-achievement, they create the excitement mania of what they will present next.
Unfortunately, they manage to get you hooked by this mania whether you need it or not.
But is what you need is really useful?
Just a small interruption here to help you understand what is going on. Let me explain the difference between a feature and a benefit.
A feature is what producers bring or add to their product to get customers or prospects intrigued and attracted to this addition.
The benefit is how buyers identify this addition as a helpful one.
Here is the trick. While the feature is for the producers and the benefit belongs to the buyers, producers seek buyers to recognize features as a benefits.
Is every feature a benefit? Absolutely not. And this is the purpose of the excitement mania mentioned earlier.
So, how this works?
I like analogies. The analogy makes presenting an idea easier and more comprehendible.
A useful analogy can be what Yuval Harari wrote in his bestselling book Sapiens.
Honestly, I’m not in favor of all Harari’s views. Still, he brings argumentative views that make you wonder.
What intrigued me most in his book is what he calls imagined orders and their associated inter-subjective reality. It is the reality that is not physically present. It only exists in our minds as imagination, which makes us believe it is a reality.
As Harari states, inter-subjective reality takes effect when an idea, belief, or phenomenon gets spread by individuals, who share this imagination. Even though one or some stop believing in this imagination, it will not go away unless the mass collectively abandons it for another reality.
“Intersubjective reality: It consists of imaginary entities that exist only within the communication network linking the subjective consciousness of many individuals”
So regardless of what you think of a brand, it is just an imagination.
If a brand manages to imprint its image in the minds of its customers, it becomes an imagined reality. It stays in our minds until a new reality takes its place. Accordingly, It is like what happened with many defunct brands or products like Nokia phones.
Were Nokia phones not functional and practical? Absolutely not, but the new reality of smartphones has its turn.
Now, let us go back to folding smartphones.
Until powerful brands get their foothold in their customers’ brains, the idea of foldable smartphones remains experimental.
Brands are not alone. They have an army of digital media that help them spread the idea. They are powerful enough to get the world’s biggest advertising engines Facebook and Google behind their back.
I read an interesting article the other day about how many likes it takes on Facebook to predict your personality and preference. With the power of artificial intelligence, these engines know you better than yourself. It looks that your likes have a meaning for Facebook.
When news indicates that Apple needs about three years to present its foldable smartphone, it means something. Apple might already have it, but it believes that customers’ and prospects’ minds are not ripe enough for such a product.
Why other brands like Samsung, Huawei, LG, and Motorola took their chances and introduced their might-be-prototype foldable smartphones? They may want to have the advantage of first-mover. Remember, with all due respect, these brands didn’t invent the iPhone concept. Apple did. They do not have the luxury that Apple has, whereas Apple may not want to risk this luxury. For them, the shot is worth it. Maybe!
Can I have an answer?
There is no right or wrong in this matter. Yet, there are some handy tools we can look into to have a better understanding and take the right choice.
Now, the only main feature of foldable smartphones that seems to be beneficial for buyers is size.
Foldable phones are supposed to give you larger screens for better viewing. At the same time, folding the phone makes it smaller and easier to carry around.
I don’t know if smartphone producers assume that the bigger version of their smartphones like Galaxy note for Samsung and Max for iPhone are not big enough.
But does size matter for many that would make them pay more than double the price for getting the foldable version?
Are you in such a big rush to view a larger screen rather than waiting to open your iPad, tablet, or even your laptop? Maybe, if you can afford the luxury.
In a previous article, I wrote about our technological needs, based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Identifying what you need can be easier if you can understand your value system.
Your value system is the sequence of your priorities. Understanding your value system helps you to understand yourself as a person. Yet, how you act upon this understanding is what matters.
But to tell you the truth, Brands are good at creating noise that makes taking a rational, sound decision not easy.
My friend, if everyone always listens to the sound of reason all the time, many brands will be out of business.
Now, if you need a foldable smartphone or not, probably not. But if you tweak the question and ask do I aspire for one, maybe yes.
As I mentioned in my previous article, I still have my iPhone 7. It almost fulfills all my communication needs. Do I like to have a foldable smartphone, ya, why not; but I have other priorities. It looks cool and can give me a sense of bragging about having it, while others do not, but not yet!
So, let us wait and see what Apple has to offer next. Probably it understands us better!