The folding phones recently unveiled are amazing, both from a technical point of view and from a cost point of view. The Samsung Galaxy Fold, announced a few days before the MWC, will cost 2,000 euros. At € 2,300, the Huawei Mate X is even more expensive.
Make no mistake, these are expensive phones. Assuming they eventually become available under contract (which is a big deal though, because they are a niche and an incredibly expensive b), punters can easily expect to pay $ 100 a month north. The problem is that the first generation of foldable phones is not a mainstream handset. If you consider them as development kits, the asking price starts to make sense.
Developer kits – or development kits, for short – are always expensive. Always. When Microsoft introduced the HoloLens in 2016, the first development kits cost € 3,000. Microsoft Azure Kinect hardware, which allows developers to create computer vision applications, costs $ 399. What I'm trying to make clear is that the price of these products is almost always high.
This is not serious. The developers will buy them. Why? The first reason is the most obvious – because they can use them to create applications and earn money. They are just another business expense. If you build the next application of a million dollars, € 2,300 is only a drop of water in the ocean. This is a rounding error. This is nothing.
Obviously, consumers' buying habits are different and most people will have the trouble of spending $ 2,300 on the phone, even though it is the most innovative and innovative phone on the market. Business users, on the other hand, will simply pay for it, just as they had spent the modern equivalent of $ 10,000 on a single desktop computer in the 1980s.
And we must not forget that foldable phones represent a radical new evolution of mobile technology. Nothing like that existed before, and developers will be well advised to ensure that their apps can seamlessly transition between smartphone and tablet experiences. Why? Because foldable phones will eventually reach the usual saturation. It's an offer. A conclusion in advance.
When Huawei and Samsung end up recovering their R & D costs, and when they find out how to make large-scale displays and hinges, device prices will fall, bringing folding phones to the ground. And that says nothing about the inevitability of copied devices from other manufacturers. The pace at which Shenzhen's mobile manufacturers are adopting the trends is absolutely staggering. Remember the speed with which they adopted the checked screens after Apple launched the iPhone X in 2017?
There is another reason for considering these devices as development kits – because Huawei said so, albeit in a very nuanced way.
Ok, maybe I read a little too much in things, but listen to me. At a press conference Sunday, a representative was incredibly shy about whether the Mate X would be mass produced or released in a limited series. C & # 39; was extremely story.
I mean, can you think of another example of a mobile executive not wanting to confirm or deny that he was mass-producing his latest flagship product? I can not, and I cover this business to make a living.
I doubt that many people buy Mate X and Galaxy Fold. The price is too high. But I think Samsung and Huawei agree with that. Both companies are experts in volume operations. They rightly recognize that these phones will lay the foundation for a thriving ecosystem of apps designed for an inevitable flood of collapsible devices. And when they eventually incorporate foldable technology into their consumer devices, they will be well positioned to benefit.
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Posted on 25 February 2019 – 23:05 UTC