Are Foldable Devices the Next Big Thing, or a Passing Fad?

Unless app makers can find a way to deliver real value, foldables might be just another solution in search of a problem

Omar Rabbolini
Modus
Published in
7 min readNov 12, 2019

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Photo: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

FFoldable devices are all over the news these days. Some are based on actual foldable displays (Samsung, Huawei), others are more economic and use two separate panels rotating around a 360-degree hinge (LG, Motorola, Microsoft).

Regardless of the underlying implementation, the purported use cases are similar: run two apps side-by-side or let an app use extra screen real estate when available.

Their makers tout them as the future of mobile productivity, the must-have upgrade for your aging smartphone. The main question for software makers is a bit different, though: Are foldables the future, or just a passing fad?

This is an important question to consider, as we need to decide whether to use precious resources to investigate this form factor and its effect on our products.

In order to answer it, we need to digress a bit and see how we got to the current state of affairs in mobile development.

Getting here

The physical design of mobile devices hasn’t changed much for the past 10 years. Almost…

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Omar Rabbolini
Modus
Writer for

Writing about life, technology, software engineering practice and startups | Website: https://drilbu.com