Historic Recurrence: Flip Phones and Foldable Phones

Some things never go out of fashion. For example, sites like https://vulkanvegas.com/de will always exist and continue to offer online gaming services. Some things, on the other hand, may seem outdated, but after a while, they become popular again. Flip phones are an excellent example of this. These devices, which were used by almost everyone in the 2000s, were replaced by modern smartphones with touch screens. But in recent years, new devices using this design have hit the market once again. So, what does this mean, and how does this technology work? We answer these questions below.


Why Did Flip Phones Disappear?

These phones had a very practical design. They did not take up space and were more durable than others, as they could protect the screen. However, they disappeared shortly after Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone model, as touchscreens could not be “folded.” In other words, there was no way to use foldable designs in next-gen smartphones. Some companies like Motorola have experimented with models like the RAZR, but since the screen size was so small, these devices remained a very niche product. As a result, flip phones disappeared from the market.

In 2013, Samsung introduced foldable screens, but this was not yet a usable technology — it was just a prototype. In November 2018, Samsung launched its first smartphone with a foldable screen. It took just 5 years for this technology to evolve from the prototype stage to a usable product. The Samsung Galaxy Fold was the world’s first foldable phone, but in a short time companies such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Motorola began to produce devices using the same technology. It took nearly 20 years for the technology to catch up with the practicality of flip phones, but now we can combine the best of both worlds: a useful design and a big screen.

Why Did They Come Back?

The answer is actually quite simple: foldable phones offer both safe and practical use. When opened, they transform into a 7.6-inch screen, and when closed, they take up very little space and protect this screen. You can carry a tablet that doesn’t take up much space in your pocket and use it like a PC thanks to the flexibility of the Android ecosystem. Also, pretty much all current smartphones use the same design. A foldable phone looks really different and lets us get rid of that boring look.

How Do Foldable Screens Work?

The flexible display is not a new technology. The first examples were developed by Xerox in the 1970s. However, such early technologies were only available for e-paper displays. Modern foldable screens are based on OLED. Nokia tried to manufacture them with the help of nanotechnology in 2008 but was unsuccessful. Samsung was the first company to turn this technology into a commercial product with AMOLED displays.


OLED displays do not require a backlight to work. Therefore, they are able to work comfortably even on a curved surface. The trick here is to make the screen bendable and prevent it from breaking. To do this, glass and plastic layers are used together. The bendable part of the screen is made of plastic, while the rest consists of dozens of layers of glass. All this is combined with protective films, and it is possible to achieve any screen size with this technique. You can even produce a 70-inch TV this way. It would be very expensive, but technically possible.

The Future of Foldable Phones

Foldable displays look impressive, and there are already multiple mobile device models using them, but this is still a fairly new technology. The first foldable phones produced had many problems: the folds became noticeable in a short time, and the battery capacities were very low, as a large part of the case was devoted to the screen. Samsung Galaxy Fold is the flagship brand that still uses these screens and has already reached the fourth generation, which has largely solved these problems.

After a few more generations, it would be safe to say that foldable phones will become much more convenient and hassle-free, but we don’t know if they have enough time for that. These devices do not have an advantage over other smartphones, except for the foldable screen. They are even worse in terms of hardware power and battery capacity. In addition, they are much more expensive.

So, not many people use foldable phones. Like any new technology, prices will come down over time, but that requires customers who keep buying them. Otherwise, no company will bother to produce foldable phones. If they can stay on the market for a few more years, they will resolve all problems and become much more practical. But it’s unclear whether they will because a global recession may not be a good time to sell new technology at a high price.


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