We have already seen a folding phone hitting the market, with the ZTE Axon M, and going by rumours we can expect a few more next year, including from market leaders like Samsung and also potentially from the Microsoft Surface team.
Now in a patent application, Microsoft explained why the time is now right for a dual-screen folding phone, saying:
Along with these enhanced capabilities has come a demand for larger displays to provide a richer user experience. Mobile phone displays have increased in size to the point where they can now consume almost the entire viewing surface of a phone. To increase the size of displays any further would require an increase in the size of the phones themselves. This is not desirable, as users want their mobile phone to fit comfortably in their hand or in a shirt or pants pocket.
As a result, dual-display devices are becoming more popular. With a dual-display device, the mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display.
In short, screens have essentially become as big as they can possibly get while phones are still pocketable, and the only way to access a bigger screen is to start folding them.
Seen in the context of this larger trend the idea that folding screens are the natural progression of smartphones does make sense, and suggests there may indeed be a real impetus to develop these devices, and a greater acceptance and demand from consumers for these big screen handsets than expected.
Do our readers agree that the time for folding phones is now? Let us know below.