Chalk this one under “teaser”, as Huawei CEO Richard Yu made a claim about the future of smartphones and also PCs. Turns out that he believes foldable phones are going to replace PCs in the future. In the words of famous rapper MGB, “let’s talk about it”…
The first foldable smartphone of 2018 has yet to hit the mainstream and it seems that Samsung and Huawei are letting each other be the first to bite. Yu sees a foldable as a PC replacement and in some regards he’s right. A tablet is also a PC, well kinda and a big screen smartphone that folds definitely replaces a 7 inch or 8 inch slate. The claim is that people are only using computers because they find the smartphone display too small.
In the future the foldables will fix that need for a bigger screen. Looking at recent diagonals, we see Huawei evolving a lot. They’ve got the 7.1 inch Honor 8X Max and also the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is going to have a 6.9 inch diagonal. The upcoming foldables get even bigger, but once they’re folded that diagonal is cut in two. The ideal format resembles the one of a wallet, while the vertical clamshell-style one seems reserved by Samsung.
Microsoft seems to have backed out and thrown the towel for its foldable. I have a feeling that the first attempt may come from China, rather than South Korea. Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, ZTE are also looking into it, plus Lenovo. As far as PC replacement goes, Huawei already has a sort of Desktop replacement, by hooking up its phones to a monitor with USB Type-C and also mouse and keyboard.
A foldable may expand the idea further.