There are few in the tech world who dispute that Apple could stand to make a splash with its next iPhone. Though the latest rumors have the company releasing yet another iterative update (probably called the iPhone 5S) in the summer, it wouldn’t be a shock to find that Apple is prepping to unveil a major upgrade to its aging flagship product in 2014.
What would constitute a “major” upgrade? How about building the phone out of a flexible material users can fold up and stash in their pockets?
That’s what George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research, wants to see. The noted tech advisor just published a blog post entitled “Apple’s Folding Future” in which he argues that the iPhone 6 “must astound and amaze” or else Apple’s continued dominance in the mobile industry could be in danger.
Colony admits that he has no inside information about Apple’s plans for future iPhones, and he concedes that it would require “an engineering marvel” to actually mass produce an affordable folding phone, but he insists that accomplishing such a feat would be just what Apple needs to ensure it holds its place at the top of the global mobile market.
Without any inside knowledge of Apple or other makers’ plans, I believe that the coolest future smartphones will fold. To demonstrate, take the current iPhone 5, lengthen it by 1.5 inches, widen it by an inch, make it 30% thinner, then fold the whole thing in half. In your hand… you would be holding a square device with a full screen of icons, video, pictures – ready to make a call or open an app.
But when you open the phone, you would have a massive screen (there’s display glass on both sides of the device) with a diagonal of nearly seven inches. That’s bigger than the non-folding Galaxy Note 2 which is often called a “phablet” in polite circles and “the sandal” in rougher company.
Colony’s post includes a few concept photos of what a folding iPhone might look like:
What do you think? Are folding phones the future?