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One thing that increasingly separates Apple from its main rival, Samsung, is folding technology. Samsung introduced its first foldable phone, aptly named the Samsung Galaxy Fold, in 2019 and has been improving it ever since. The first version had its issues to be sure, and in fact Samsung pulled it from sale just days before it was due on store shelves because reviewers complained that the screens on the units that gave them had been sent early were breaking.
The Fold and its more svelte cousin, the Galaxy Flip — a flip phone that folds a somewhat normal-sized smartphone screen in half — have their fans, but they’re by no means mainstream. Part of the reason is their price. The Fold first went on sale for nearly $2,000 two years ago. The Galaxy Fold 3, released in 2021, dropped that price to $1,800, where it has remained this year.
“I think that’s a fair price for what you’re getting in 2022, which is a high-end phone made with unique, state-of-the-art, expensive parts,” CNET reviewer Patrick Holland wrote. “But so is a Ferrari SF90 Spider, and it costs over half a million dollars. Despite my crush, I won’t buy the Fold 4 Where soon a Ferrari. And we’re still years away from an affordable foldable phone for most people.
Amid all this, Apple is rumored to be working on a foldable phone, but it hasn’t publicly discussed the technology at all. And given the struggles Galaxy Fold users still have with the display’s flimsy non-glass shell, as well as the prominent crease appearing on their screen, it’s no wonder Apple chose to stick with its version in development labs at the moment.
Still, almost any sci-fi buff will notice that folding technology certainly has its place. Many futuristic ideas for computers have included the ability to fold them up into easily portable devices. Some stories, such as Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica, take things a step further by building a computer out of a folded sheet of paper. Unfold the paper, and suddenly you have a screen the size of a tablet or laptop.
Unfortunately, the technology has yet to catch up.