Apple: Creators of the category’s final form

Butterflies from Samsung and Huawei carry the pundits to 30,000 feet.

From Apple360’s Jeffrey Mincey: Apple, Save Us From Foldable Tablets.

Worry not. Apple seldom makes it to a new party until after everyone else gets drunk, and right now the technology industry is drunk to a new level of giddiness over foldable smartphones from Samsung and Huawei.

Look, I understand that we computer users of yesteryear did not ask Steve Jobs to give us the mouse or point and click. When he and other Apple folk saw the Xerox Star at PARC they saw the future. That future is still here as every PC you can buy is similarly point and click.

Look, I understand that we smartphone users of the 21st century did not ask Steve Jobs to give us a glass keyboard on a multi-touch display. When the engineers at Google’s Android group saw the first iPhone demonstration in early 2007, they went back to the drawing board because, they, too, recognized the future, and that future is still here as every smartphone you can buy has a similar look and feel as the first iPhone…

So, will history repeat itself? Oh, God, I hope so.

From MacDailyNews: Woz can’t wait to get a folding iPhone.

As Woz seems to have forgotten, Apple wasn’t first with fingerprint recognition, they were the first to do it right with Touch ID. Apple wasn’t first with facial recognition, they were the first to do it right with Face ID. Apple wasn’t first with contactless payments, they were the first to do it right with Apple Pay.

From the Macalope: Beneath the fold: The reality about Apple and foldable screens.

Apple doesn’t ship bleeding edge technology. It usually isn’t first to market. Elliot Loh summed it up perfectly:

One way to evaluate Apple: as creators of a category’s final form.

This is a great answer because it’s both correct—we’ve seen it in the personal computer, the smartphone, the digital music player and the tablet and it seems like it’s starting to happen with wireless headphones—and because it lets you make jokes about BEHOLD MY FINAL FORM.*

butterfly final form*Final form: I had to look it up. From Know Your Meme:

The phrase was originally uttered by the villain character Frieza in the Japanese anime series Dragon Ball Z. During his pinnacle battle scene against the protagonists, Frieza boasts his capacity of strength by saying “You FOOL! This isn’t even my final form! Wait until you see my TRUE power!

My take: I’m not persuaded that a transformer phone is anything Apple would want to bring to market. But if it did, I’m confident Jony Ive’s butterfly would be the best. And the most expensive.


  1. S Lawton said:

    When Amazon came out with Alexa over four years ago, folks said they’d wait for Apple. They’re still waiting.

    February 27, 2019
  2. Fred Stein said:

    Foldable smartphones may be the next big thing. just being able to have two Apps like Maps or Contacts open in full screen while you have another app in full screen is cool.

    Ah but… Fragmentation and the world of Apps. It will time for App developers to take full advantage of the new form factor. Samsung and Huawei will bring these Apps to market in their own App stores. One wonders if the SDKs for this form factor will come from Google or the hardware vendors.

    All of the above gives Apple a couple years.

    Final note on innovation: This concept has been discussed for years. It’s about timing, cost of goods, and the need for Android makers to take share from each other.

    February 27, 2019
  3. Gregg Thurman said:

    Foldables are a joke/gimmick that’ll never be anything more than a very small foot note in history.

    This is not a case of “if you build it they will come”. Adoption means an economic use case, and there is none. For the very FEW times a person may want multiple apps running side by side there are tablets. The combined cost of a 10.5” iPad Pro 256GB and a 5.8” iPhone XS 256GB is less than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold with much greater utility.

    That most don’t carry two devices speaks volumes about the need for more screen real estate.

    Tomorrow will be my last day on Apple 3.0. I don’t have any issues with the forum or PED. It’s just a case of a bad fit, I’m looking for a site that is primarily about investing strategies and Apple 3.0 isn’t it.

    I wish PED (hope you are aggressively pursuing your post op rehab) and all of you well.

    February 27, 2019
    • You will be missed, Gregg.

      Rehab is going gangbuster, thanks for asking. They tell me my hip is healing ahead of schedule,

      February 27, 2019
    • Turley Muller said:

      WHAT?? A Joke right?? Your contributions are valuable.

      I’ve known you for a long minute, so I understand what you are saying and looking for– being you are a more hardcore investor and like some great option plays. Which isn’t here, we know… however you should still drop by.

      February 27, 2019
    • David Drinkwater said:

      Just curious, Gregg, which investment sites will you be headed to. I’m also interested.

      PED, if Gregg asks, feel free to share my email addy. Thanks.

      February 28, 2019
    • Jonny Tilney said:

      Surely they aren’t mutually exclusive?! Five minutes a day on Apple 3.0 leaves many happy hours on more comprehensive financial analysis sites. (And there aren’t many good ones anyway..).

      February 28, 2019
  4. John Konopka said:

    Foldable devices may become common one day. I’m skeptical that time is now.

    How many folds will be promised under warranty? Will it survive thousands of folds per year? You’ve seen people in meetings mindlessly clicking a ballpoint pen. Those people will now be opening and closing their devices.

    Putting a crease in the center of your screen seems to add a major point of weakness to the device.

    February 27, 2019
  5. Robert Davison said:

    In considering the utility / desirability of a folding phone I notice that the discussion trends to ‘a tablet in your pocket’ but what if the primary use case is for folks who want a Max in their pocket with the size of a 5S ?

    February 27, 2019
  6. Jonathan Mackenzie said:

    Foldable displays are only important in that they are a technological waypoint on the path to displays that fold upon themselves multiple times like a piece of paper (or maybe a thick piece of cloth). A tablet computer that I can fold up like a shopping list and stick in my pocket — that’s what I want to see. The usefulness of a touchscreen that is so light and versatile is obvious.

    The only argument I can see for these wallet-thick single folding devices is that you have to start somewhere.

    February 28, 2019
  7. Jonny Tilney said:

    We would never ever hear the end of it if Apple used its customers as a prototype testbed…

    February 28, 2019

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