Innovative phone model hits the market

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Innovative phone model hits the market

Photo courtesy of techradar.com

Photo courtesy of techradar.com

Photo courtesy of techradar.com

Mikayla Cantine, Staff Writer

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Just when people thought that phones could not get any more expensive than the recent prices reaching over $1000, multiple phone companies have announced a new model for around $2000.  Following decades of research, the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Trade Show in Barcelona announced what the future of phones will be “foldable and fast,” stated Bob O’Donnell, a writer with USA Today. 

With the ability to fold, mobile phones will be able to present a larger screen, yet still fit in one’s pocket. The device combines the size of a small tablet with the size and function of a normal smartphone. This idea opens the door to the first new design of mobile phones in over 10 years. 

Aside from the dimensions of these new phones, the trade show explains the intentions to bring faster 5G networks to the market. In the United States, major carriers plan to bring this 5G support to specific cities in 2019, and eventually wider coverage by 2020 (usatoday.com). With 5G-capable smartphones, download speeds can be up to 10x faster than current 4G networks. 

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was unveiled at a pre-MWC event as one of the first official folding phone offers, along with the Huawei Mate X. However, the Mate X does not seem as if it will be ready for the market in the United States for a while (usatoday.com). In addition to these two devicesMotorola, CNET, and TCL have also been looking into the creation of one of these futuristic phones. So far, one foldable phone has been released known as the Royole FlexPai (bustle.com). 

Apple Insider shows reports according to patent application that folding phones could be a possibility for them, however further research must be done. Apple believes the risk of damage when folding the phone is too great in cold temperatures, therefore they are working to create a heating feature along the fold. If Apple decides to follow through with this investment, the final release date will be sometime in 2020, or at a later date (bustle.com). 

As far as prices go, the Samsung Galaxy Fold is said to start at $1,980 for the 4G/LTE version and a much higher price for the 5G version. The Mate X 5G’s European prices translate to around $2600. Samsung announced their launch date as April 26 (usatoday.com). 

According to USA TODAY, technology advancements in phones are predicted to change so greatly that current smartphones will appear and feel like “technological dinosaurs by 2023. Variety will take its course, allowing some phones to fold inward and others outward, some with multiple screens and others with only one, and each will have features that set it apart such as hinge design, camera placement, and more (bustle.com). 

One of these unique designs that could possibly benefit Decatur would be its ability to transform into a bigger screen, almost like a laptop. With the phone half open, one may be able to use the bottom half as a keyboard, serving as a substitute for a laptop. Students forgetting their laptops seems to be a reoccurring issue with no back up, but a folding phone may allow students to type just like they would on a laptop. However, since this new technology is very expensive and still being explored, this possible alternative may take a while to begin its course at Stephen Decatur.