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Will the Galaxy Z Flip Push the Smartphone Industry in a New Direction?

17 November, 2020 Samsung

Will the Galaxy Z Flip Push the Smartphone Industry in a New Direction?


The mobile phone industry is one of the fastest evolving sectors on the planet. Even though current smartphones represent the most advanced and powerful handheld devices the world has ever known, it would be foolish to think they have stopped progressing. Some major developers, including Samsung, seem to believe that foldable smartphones are the next step for the industry. The question is, does the Galaxy Z Flip have the potential to push the entire smartphone market in this direction?


The Advent of Foldable Smartphones

Samsung began its forays into folding smartphones in 2019 when it released the Galaxy Fold. The device which was retroactively renamed the Galaxy Z Fold was designed to bridge the gap between smartphones and tablets, providing users with a larger screen that could be reduced to pocket size easily. Samsung has continued to develop its range of foldable phones and has released the Z Fold 2 along with the Z Flip. At present, they could be considered more of a novelty for high-end users, though, as the price point of around $1500 - $2000 per device is high.



There have been some trepidations about the foldable screens, with many people concerned about the durability of these offerings. Samsung has claimed that the Z Fold can be opened and closed 200,000 times before any damage or problems occur. The average American looks at their phone 96 times per day, meaning that the phone would last just shy of six years if Samsung's estimate can be trusted. This is a fairly decent shelf life, but the mere fact that there is a timeframe on it could put some buyers off.


Samsung isn't the only major smartphone company working on developing a foldable range, and this suggests that the industry as a whole could be heading in the direction of these models. Other notable foldable smartphones to date include the Huawei Mate X, the Microsoft Surface Duo, and the Moto Razr 2019.


Could Appeal to Audiences in Search of Nostalgia

The Galaxy Z Flip folds across the middle horizontally and clearly harks back to the flip phones seen in the late 1990s. These began with Motorola's StarTAC in 1996, and the design became the most popular form of mobile up until smartphones came into existence in the late 2000s.



Some of the most memorable foldables included the Motorola V300, the LG VX-6000, and the Samsung SGH-X426. During their heyday, these devices seemed to represent the height of technological progression. Less than twenty years later, though, they are considered retro. This highlights just how rapidly the industry is moving.


The new foldable smartphones could gain traction because they have the nostalgia factor working in their favor. Certainly, the Z Flip looks reminiscent of the classic pre-smartphone era flip phones. Older users, in particular, may have fond memories of their early cell phones and have a strong desire to rekindle some of the feelings associated with them.


The refreshing of old themes and the evocation of nostalgia have been highly successful marketing tools in recent years, and this has been especially apparent in the entertainment industry - a sector that goes hand-in-hand with mobile.


It has been seen with series like Stranger Things on Netflix and the reboots of classic films like Ghostbusters and Blade Runner. In gaming, the online casino industry often recycles old themes and gives them a modern twist. With games like roulette and blackjack, which have existed for more than a century, now having digitalized versions. There are innovative ways to play as well, with blitz options being an example of a recent development. In other offshoots of the gaming industry, such as mobile, traditional games like craps are staging comebacks. This is even to the extent that there is a need for sites such as this to curate the best online casinos in the US, helping players find the best bonuses. Even then, these operators are leveraging the new technology to bring in new advances such as real-time live dealers too.


Are There Other Old Phone Aspects That Could be Brought Back?

With the flip phone looking to make a return, it would be interesting to consider whether there are any other aspects of old phones that could be rejuvenated. This has been done with games, and the classic Nokia offering Snake has undergone various iterations on smartphones over the years.


It seems as though the Blackberry may be about to make a return to the forefront of the industry as well. The company has partnered with OnwardMobility and FIH Mobile Limited to develop a 5G capable device that uses the classic Blackberry keyboard. If this is successful, it could disrupt the trajectory of the smartphone market again.


The Z Flip has the potential to have a heavy influence on the smartphone market. The nostalgia aspect could be a driving force behind sales, and the fact that users can have a pocket-sized larger screen will also be appealing. At the moment, though, the high price point is enough to stop it from going mainstream immediately. It will take the release of a few more generations to see mass adoption.


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