India Science News: Is India ready for foldable technology?

India Science News: Is India ready for foldable technology?

“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born,” said Alan Kay, a US-based computer science pioneer credited with designing the Dynabook – the basis for all modern-day tablets and laptops – in the early 1970s.

Try remembering the time when you held your first mobile phone. Did you realise what the device was going to offer you in the years to come?

While the smartphone technology is entering a new era of innovation, the time is here to wear your smartphone on wrist.

Flexible displays or foldable, bendable smartphones are the future and last week, Chinese technology major Lenovo became the first company to display two futuristic concepts: a foldable smartphone that can be turned into a wearable device and a bendable tablet that becomes a phablet.

Sounds cool but when it comes to smartphones, India is where the action is. With over 220 million active unique smartphone users, India is now the world’s second-biggest smartphone market after the US. By 2019, India will have over 650 million smartphone users, says a latest forecast by the networking solutions firm Cisco.

Is India ready for such foldable technology?

“I believe convertibles emerged a bit ahead of the users’ acceptability of such devices. Now, we have a bit evolved scenario and can say that the Indian consumers are ready for them,” says Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst with CyberMedia Research (CMR), a market research firm.

“Flexible displays are the future and there is no doubt about it. However, these will first be available in the high-premium segment and address a selected audience to begin with,” Kawoosa told media.

The Lenovo CPlus smartphone and Folio tablet concepts — shown at the “Tech World 2016” event in San Francisco last week — highlight how flexible screens and components can enable dual-devices and multiple usage scenarios like never before.

Apart from Lenovo, Korean smartphone-maker Samsung has been working on foldable displays for years and is reported to be ready to launch its first foldable smartphone in 2017. Cupertino, California-based tech giant, has also gone for patents that suggest it is set to develop iPhones with curved screens soon.

“These devices are going to be in the unique luxury gadgets category and will have niche adoptions. The innovation around smartphone is plateauing now,” adds Thomas George, Senior Vice President and Head of CMR.

The foldable smartphones are being talked about at a time when wearable smart watches are beginning to gain some grounds globally.

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