Apple's Competition Hypes Foldable Smartphones, 4K OLED Laptop Displays & more for 2019 to Outpace Apple's Innovation
Last Thursday Patently Apple posted a report titled "Samsung went on a week-long PR Blitz for their Next-Gen Folding Smartphone while Xiaomi tried to steal the Show." Our report presented a Tweet from Evan Blass that presented a brief video of a novel approach to a possible future foldable phone by Xiaomi that's very different and even a little cool.
Can't speak to the authenticity of this video or device, but it's allegedly made by Xiaomi, I'm told. Hot new phone, or gadget porn deepfake? pic.twitter.com/qwFogWiE2F— Evan Blass (@evleaks) January 3, 2019
The Prototype generated so much buzz that Xiaomi has now come from behind the curtain to reveal it was indeed their prototype and has presented another video to prove it. The video was released on a Twitter account owned by Xiaomi's global spokesperson. The video shows Xiaomi's President and Co-founders Bin Lin providing the demo.
Check out this special video from #Xiaomi President and Co-founder Bin Lin, showing off a very special phone prototype... 😎— Donovan Sung (@donovansung) January 23, 2019
What does everyone think we should name this phone? 🤔#InnovationForEveryone pic.twitter.com/1lFj3nM7tD
We're also learning today from a Korean tech report that LG Electronics will be unveiling a foldable smartphone for its VIP business-to-business customers, such as mobile carriers, at next month's Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona.
It's difficult at this time to known whether LG is just claiming to have a folding phone prototype to sound like they're in the game or actually have one. If anything, it shows that this new category is generating a lot of interest.
There was a lot of buzz at CES 2019 earlier this month for the Royole Flex Pai foldable phone. Although its rough around the edges, to be sure, for a first generation design from an unknown company, it shows some potential for a larger phone display for better gaming and entertainment content.
If anything, it's showing that smartphone industry players are out to beat Apple to market anywhere that it can from adding more cameras, higher resolution cameras (up to 48 Megapixels) and even 3D cameras. Others like Xiaomi have added new slider phones that eliminates the nasty display notch to providing backside touch controls for gaming on the new Nubia phone. Luckily there's no single smartphone on the market with all of these features combined and so Apple is still able to sell a premium smartphone with a well rounded collection of features that consumers still love.
Even on the laptop side of things HP, Dell and now Samsung have announced OLED displays coming this year. Samsung's laptop will offer a 15.6" OLED model later this year. Is it a sign of what Apple may bring to market later this year for a 2019 MacBook Pro?
I realize that Apple's Tim Cook chants that Apple doesn't care about being first and that it's about being better, but under Steve Jobs firsts definitely mattered, let's not kid ourselves.
Apple rose to nose bleeding heights when the company rocketed to fame on the wings of innovative firsts led by the iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air as the thinnest laptop in the world through to the iMac that was the best all-in-one in the industry and iTunes which was absolutely the linchpin that drove people to Apple hardware.
Most Apple fans would prefer the Apple of old who pushed the envelope with wildly successful products. Now the competition is ensuring that Apple scores fewer firsts as a means of taking the shine off of Apple's brand layer by layer.
Add to that a string of bad press about a faulty keyboard, faulty flex cables and bendy iPads in January alone isn't helping matters as it calls into question Apple's quality controls, designer savviness and so forth.
This year could turn things around for Apple with the launch of their new content service, a new modular computer (if it doesn't cost an arm and a leg), new AirPods, new iPads and iPhones and hopefully a surprise or two along the way.
While this could be a very exciting year for Apple fans, it could also be a brutal one as their competition smells blood in the water after Apple's stumble in calendar Q4. Will Apple "innovate" at a faster clip this year as the company's executives have promised? While only time will tell, Apple fans are sure hoping that Apple rocks the boat, breaks with tradition and takes their gloves off to take the fight to the competition.