The Huawei Termi-Mate-R... "You will soon be"X☠️
"zirconium-based liquid metal alloy"
Huawei has lifted the lid on its latest pholdable – the Mate Xs. This is the follow-up to last year's coveted tablet hybrid, which was released in China late last year. While Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip represented a radical rethinking of the company's foldable strategy, the Mate Xs is only a modest tweak on the previous design, …
Users are paying for 2x hardware. The likelihood of failure is so high they add the potential repair/replacement costs in the upfront price so it's still profitable after 2 years of potential warranty claims. Most premium phones sell with a 50% premium which is slowly reduced over the first 12 months.
That has not been the case for some time, something I regret as I was rather proud of my D&P capability back in the day, and now my cameras and 6x7 enlarger are all gone along with the wet chemistry.
But, actually, as no doubt someone remarked to the Rev. Charles Dodgson when gelatine replaced collodion, that's progress.
"Although at high temperatures, plastic deformation occurs easily, almost none occurs at room temperature before the onset of catastrophic failure. This limits the material's applicability in reliability-critical applications, as the impending failure is not evident. The material is also susceptible to metal fatigue with crack growth. "
Just what you want in a hinge?
Quite a niche product for a business person on the go. For under $1000 total I have a decent 6" phone, a lightweight slim 1920x1080 i5 laptop (inc real GPU, 8G RAM), 10" tablet with 256 G microSD and a 7" eink based ereader. However I don't go out much and never wear a suit, at least not in the last 7 years.
These will only displace existing tablet + phone if they get to about 1/10th of current price. I imagine the pricing 1/2 reflects the "niche market charge as much as you can" and the "real extra costs" compared to a same CPU / RAM / Flash tablet. No doubt the screen is very expensive, which is also why a decent eink ereader is up to x4 price of a more complex smartphone.
Not quite sure if business people will be crying out for these but the foldable form factor does have a lot to recommend it. And lots of teething problems to overcome as well, no doubt. But I can easily imagine foldables becoming the norm in a couple of years.
No doubt the screen is very expensive, which is also why a decent eink ereader is up to x4 price of a more complex smartphone.
Here the screen and hinge is no doubt expensive because complex. E-ink screens aren't complex but they're produced in much lower volumes which means a higher marginal cost so you can't really use them for a comparison.
Takes ages for the workers to drop the little black balls into the cells and fill with milky liquid.
I was just trying to think of a niche product with a very expensive display. Actually I don't understand why the eink panels are so expensive. I don't think it's just the low volume.
Niche products are almost always more expensive than mass market ones because volume generally does matter. Modern phone screens are difficult to produce and require very clean environments. But it helps if you can use the same production line for a wide range of devices.
With E-Ink you have smaller volumes and only a couple of products with slow replacement rates. OTOH you don't have to continually retool for the latest generation. Prices have plateaued around what the market (largely those who like E-Ink based devices) will bear.
Many years ago when I was in the portable data capture business, we had a big customer who said he liked our existing devices but would buy a lot more if the screen was larger. So the engineering department went to work and eventually came up with a prototype with a new, larger screen. We showed it to the customer and he then complained because the device itself was now larger (duh).
So there's your answer - there really are people who want a bigger screen without it making their device bigger, and a folding screen done right is one possible answer to that conundrum.
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