Phones

Would A Rollable iPhone Be One Gimmick Too Far For Mobile Users?

The world of the foldable phone has been a little uneven so far. While Samsung has undoubtedly seen a lot of success for its range of Z Folds and Flips, there have been a few issues along the way.

The biggest issue has been practicality. Sure, it’s cool to have a tablet and smartphone blended into one device, but it becomes slightly less cool when actually carrying around the device in your pocket. It’s thick and heavy, dust accumulates when closed, the hinge is fragile, and – most crucially – the crease has been constantly noticeable when opened.

Still, users like the concept of the fold. Across the world, demand for bigger mobile screens is ever-growing, not least due to the rise of mobile and iGaming.

The Pros and Cons of Gaming and Socials

With the use-case for smartphones becoming primarily gaming and social-related, smartphones with a bigger, more accessible screen have become more of a necessity than a luxury.

While current, accessible smartphones may be beneficial for online gaming platforms like BetMGM UK with low demand on performance and graphics, they have clear setbacks when it comes to gameplay-intensive games – those of which are undoubtedly going to become more accessible for smartphone users in the next few years. Even social platforms like TikTok and Instagram have visuals that work better on a bigger screen.

But as mentioned before, there are cons to the foldable too – at least, there are right now. So what’s the answer? Well, if the rumours surrounding Apple carry any weight, the answer involves ditching the fold concept entirely.

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The Concept Of The Rollable Phone

According to a new patent, Apple could be looking into developing a rollable phone. This is something that has already been conceptualised by Vivo and Oppo, but it has yet to hit the high street.

This phone would look like any other smartphone, except it has a display that wraps around the bottom, and can be extended to create a bigger display – or rolled away to provide a second screen. Included in Apple’s patent is a description on the “locally thinned” glass layer, and an outwardly glass surface that can experience “compressive stress” and prevent damage when the display is bent.

In theory, this concept of the phone is far more accessible than the foldable. It is not two phones stitched into one, but simply a wider, longer display, that expands into position at the press of a button. No extra weight, no hinge, no crease, no worries. Plus, there are plenty of advantages for iGaming and socials.

Good Or Gimmick?

Since these patents were revealed, there has been a mixed reaction from mobile users. A common theme is that this is a gimmick in the making. But it’s important to understand that, for Apple to even be thinking of introducing a rollable phone into their lineup, they must believe that this concept has potential.

This is not just something to widen the iPhones keyboard – this is a revolutionary change for the brand. Over the last decade, Apple has been incredibly risk-averse. Just look at the latest run of iPhone models. What is the real difference between the iPhone 13, 14, or 15? Better specs, maybe. A dynamic island, hooray. But nothing innovative or different. Apple likes to stick to its tried and tested formula, and the rollable is most certainly not that.

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The Future Of Apple

When Samsung released their first foldable phone, the word “gimmick” was being thrown around then, too. Nowadays, more people than ever understand that foldables are not a gimmick. They might not deliver right now, but it’s very likely that they will in the future – unless the rollable gets there first. By all accounts, the rollable beats the foldable in providing the user with a bigger screen in a more practical way. Apple knows this, and that is why they are investing in it.

That’s not to say that we can expect to see an iPhone rollable in the next few years, by the way. This is only a patent, after all, and it could fall away to nothing. But with more phone manufacturers testing the waters of the foldable market, it’s likely that Apple will put its two cents in sometime in the future. And by that time, it might just be that the world is ready for it.

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