X

Opinion

Why tease your foldable smartphone endlessly when you still can’t be the first?

This week, Royole, a display manufacturer, introduced the world’s first foldable smartphone. Called the FlexPai, the device is based on Android Pie with a custom interface. YouTube videos reveal the FlexPai is rather slow, but it does look futuristic. After years of Samsung teasing a foldable device, a new brand has stolen its fame. Companies trying to one-up each other is normal, but it feels quite disappointing. Samsung lost the race to be the first with an in-display fingerprint sensor and it has now lost the foldable device game as well.

Samsung’s not the first in the race for commercial foldable devices

Now, Samsung’s mobile chief has already said that the company doesn’t want to be the first just for the sake of it. Its focus is on quality and not on quantity. That said, as a long-term Samsung fan who still loves the company, I feel sad. Samsung was once innovating before everyone else, but it has now considerably slowed down while the competition from China keeps putting out new stuff ahead of everyone else. Samsung also has a timing problem. How can it be teasing a foldable device since CES 2013 and still get beaten by an unknown company from China five years later?

It hurts me as a fan, but sadly, not many of our readers seem to agree with me. In one of our polls asking whether people would be willing to pay more for experimental/research devices, very few voted yes. However, I still believe it’s the fastest way to test the market. Remember the Galaxy Note Edge or the Galaxy Round? Samsung hasn’t yet lost its mojo completely , but it does seem to have a timing issue with new devices and features. Experimental devices allow them both to be the first and also test the waters before a wider commercial launch.

And I get it, quality takes time. Slowing down software innovation makes sense. For example, Bixby was clearly rushed when it debuted last year and could have used more time in the oven. But hardware innovation needs to keep happening, especially at a time when everything on the market looks so similar. I also understand Samsung’s need to develope a proper user interface for the foldable device before bringing it to consumers, but at this point Samsung is in danger of being left too far behind in terms of innovation and setting the trends.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Is Samsung too slow with hardware innovations? Let me know down in the comments!

25 Comments

Sign in »

25
Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

Someone has pipped Samsung to be first to release a foldable phone. Reported by techradar

caesantos
caesantos

It’s enormous and ugly! It looks like a book, lol! That’s what it takes to be the first?

Mario387
Mario387

It may be first, but it does not look like an nice elegant solution. More like something engineered to be first.

That screen on the outside is vulnerable, need a special case, not something you carelessly put in your pocket or bag. Fingerprint magnet.

Kudos for being first, but I can’t say I’m burning from excitement of wanting one. Would have been nice if Samsung had been first, but I think they would be slaughtered in the press if they showed this as their product.

punitverma2010
punitverma2010

I still remember when Samsung launched Galaxy Note and started the phablet trend (although it’s not the first phablet but they changed the people’s reaction on Dell Streak) but things get serious now because of some Chinese vendors. I hope Samsung get his throne back before it’s too late. but for me Samsung will always be an innovative atleast for me. Let’s see if it happens again and Samsung’s foldable device get better response.

GS7edge
GS7edge

And this is why I’m sure Samsung will do a better foldable phone than FlexPai and might even be the best one.

“Samsung is correct to release a foldable phone next year. It can use a 7nm processor, adopt a proprietary operating system developed by Samsung and Google, and have enough time to improve the design and durability. These can’t be done in 2018.” -IceUniverse-

TheSparda
TheSparda

Why rush things if the experience will be bad and damages the brand. I don’t think highly of the flexpai. I saw vids of it, and the experience is terrible. Huge lags and switching from tab to phone and vice versa is not seamless and has huge delays. The screen also looks very cheap and poorly made. They can be the first for all I care, but when people use their product, they are going to remember the horrible experience and not buy future products. Quality matters more than being first. If samsung has a secure and better made in-display… Read more »

cortland39
cortland39

I personally have said this many times on various sites and not many seem to agree with me either. One advantage of releasing your new flagship for the year is that it is typically newer then everything else as far as what processor it uses. The bad thing about launching your flagship early in the year is that the competition has a lot of time to see what Samsung has released and improve their flagships. What samsung needs to start doing is take a look at all the technology other companies have released over the last year and stop playing… Read more »

Stam1987
Stam1987

I agree with artocube. As for the race to be first in some particular innovation, we all remember how this race end up with Note 7 and Apple’s 6s. Although that was another thing than the one we disscussing… my point is who ever rushes always stumbbles (a saying in my country) If I had to choose between innovation and quality-safety products, I would choose quality-safety products. What Sammy does is really clever. Its innovation is great. And its patents are futuristic. But she always wait to see what the people and the market want amd need. She lets other… Read more »

artocube
artocube

Well, Samsung is STILL innovating when it’s providing both new features AND quality in a foldable device. Royole won’t. So, basically, there is no reason for a loyal Samsung fan to be sad with the news. Just a quick glimpse on Royole’s “Developers Model” device shows (even to the untrained eye) that this is still experimental, rough design, lagging operation, ugly UI, absolutely weird feel. So, why should Samsung (or any other big manufacturer) rush things just to make a device that’s still not offering the satisfactory user experience that Samsung is making us enjoy all these years?By the time… Read more »

ironbat
ironbat

I’m really disappointed. I agree with you

GS7edge
GS7edge

I’m sure that Samsung will release a far better foldable smartphone than FlexPai.

dreadsta
dreadsta

Apple has proven many times that first doesn’t matter, doing it best does.

Messibarca92
Messibarca92

But they ain’t the best……

Osensnolf
Osensnolf

You are delusional. Who sells more high-end phones? Apple. Samsung sells more phones in general but some of the phones they sell are to poor countries with very basic and dated features. If you asked those people who buy these phones “Would you rather have this of an iPhone (if money isn’t an issue)”, many of them would chose iPhone. I do not care for iPhone but I know more people prefer it.

artocube
artocube

Like the “DeLorean”?

Oh, sorry. I though we were talking about past, fictional, time machines…

woody365
woody365

Apples are made out of old Samsung parts anyways. So who’s really winning. 😀