Foldable phones will kill the tablet category

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Foldable phones will kill the tablet category
With the advent of flexible and shape-bending phones that hold to potential to pack lots of screen in a relatively slim body, there’s one product category that could be in dire danger - the tablet.

With the iPad being a solid exception, the Android market has been declining for a couple of years now. We are at such a point that we could probably expect merely one or two relatively-exciting tablet announcements per year all thanks to the Apple and its iPads. While there are many reasons for this decline, the main one is certainly the fact that phones have been exploding in terms of usable screen estate in the past few years as well, and the advent of truly-bezel-less and soon flexible devices, I reckon that tablets will be doomed. This will be especially true for the Android ones out there, which are already on life support.

I’ve never considered getting a tablet simply because they are as exciting as a door knob and only made sense when 4-inch phones were considered the norm. With the exciting prospect of having sleek foldable devices just around the corner, those bulky monstrosities will become even less desirable than they currently are.

Once foldable phones start getting mainstream, tablets will likely become even less popular. Of course, it will take some time before such phones become really affordable to a point where they could be worthy alternatives of the tablet, but… this will most certainly happen sooner than later and the tablet category will be in deep, deep trouble.

What’s your take on the matter?

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21 Comments

1. worldpeace

Posts: 3077; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Android tablet already dead anyway.. Another tablet (2in1 windows table, and chromebook) wouldn't even care about this trend..

2. TheOracle1

Posts: 1821; Member since: May 04, 2015

I hope not. At least not in the 10 inch+ category. I use my Android tablet exclusively for business and entertainment even though my phone has a 6.6 inch screen. A 10 inch foldable would be huge.

3. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Small tablets are not popular anyway, but don't think foldable phones will affect 10" tablets.

4. foldablephone

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

While I agree for the most part, this article appears a little bit thin. Seriously it can’t be a Feature type article if it doesn’t even have at least 500 words or some sales data etc lol. Also the author doesn’t seem to consider Microsoft’s $2B sales Surface line of mostly 2-in-1 tablets in 2018, and the Surface Go has been a big seller according to Amazon. The headline should read: Folding Phones will kill 7” inch Android Tablets.

5. Fellwalker

Posts: 516; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

I would love it to be true, but it isn't. To equate to my Tab S3, a foldable phone as convenient as my Note 9 in size would need to fold out horizontally AND vertically. How is it going to be light enough, and have a big enough battery to make that work? It is going to need rollable screens at least, and we'll need to learn to do without keyboards. From carrying pda and phone and wearing a watch I spent years trying to get down to one device. I did it with the HTC HD2, but desires and possibilities moved on, so and I am now back to Tab S3, Note 9, and Garmin Vivoactive 3. I think we're more likely to actually get some in-eye or near-eye or implanted device so we can keep the computing out of the way, carried in a pocket or otherwise. But it isn't soon.

6. foldablephone

Posts: 55; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Supposedly Apple are working on AR glasses and have been for some time. I could imagine designer style computing glasses with Gestures and Siri designed by Apple as a possibility. They would have to be sleek though and durable - not like Google Glass.

9. yalokiy

Posts: 866; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

eye-phone... :D

7. Whitedot

Posts: 657; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Some tablets ( ipad) killing laptops.

8. path45th

Posts: 398; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

If a smartphone goes foldable what will be if a tablet goes foldable too? I would actually like the future iPad to be the size of the current iPad mini but when unfolded to become a huge 15 inch screen.

10. dimas

Posts: 3235; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Foldable phones: making playboy centerfolds great again.

11. NinoH

Posts: 127; Member since: Feb 09, 2018

Well i couldn’t imagine working without my ipad, it’s a device that i use on a regular basis and it’s far more practical then and laptop. But then again at my job with don’t use any heavy apps or programs.

12. path45th

Posts: 398; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

I agree. The iPad is the mobile device that makes the most sense. Smartphones have too small screens to enjoy or do anything seriously. What a waste of those high resolution screens when you have to watch a movie on an 6 inch screen. Or waste of CPU when play a game. Foldable phones will make the screen bigger but at a very high cost. To me the best configuration is a cheap smartphone like an older iPhone model to be used mostly as a phone and camera and the iPad for productivity and everything else.

13. japkoslav

Posts: 1248; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Tablets are dead anyway.

14. midan

Posts: 2481; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I'm not sure they were ever really alive, when Apple made huge success right away with iPad every company did their own poor android tablets thinking to collect some easy money, it didn't really go very well with those half baked android tablets and end is history.

18. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1130; Member since: May 01, 2017

Sure they are junior....

15. TheHitman1982

Posts: 87; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

Foldable phones will die faster than 3-D TVs did. Tablets aren't going anywhere.

16. DFranch

Posts: 490; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Foldable phones are going to cost at least $1,200, probably more. How much is an android tablet? I think the markets won't overlap too much unless the price becomes more reasonable. Besides, I'm not handing my $1,200 phone over to a little kid, but I'll give him my $80 fire tablet.

17. vasra

Posts: 99; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

No they won't. Reason: Price.

19. brasstax

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

A foldable phone will never provide a screen area equivalent to 9.7 or 10.1 inch tablets. As someone already pointed out in order to do so, the phone when unfolded has to expand both vertically and horizontally. The best one can hope for is a foldable phone when unfolded offering screen real estate comparable to 4:3 ratio 8 inch tablet. I can already see a couple of years down the line with base sizes unfurling to 7 or 7.5 inches and max versions or future large phablets unfurling to 8 or 8.4 inches of screen size.

20. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

Foldable phones won't kill tablets, because foldable phones will cost $$$$. They'll be initially way more expensive than tablets.

21. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 269; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Foldable phones will be pretty experimental, and the first owners of it would be the guinea pigs. For me I think having a separate 10" tablet with decent specs such as mi pad 4 plus or huawei mediapad m5 would be better.

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