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Shira Ovide

A $2,000 Phone Won’t Cure an Industry’s Midlife Crisis

Folding screens, ultra-luxe devices and 5G won’t solve the problems of the no-growth smartphone market.

Cool, but not enough to stave off peak smartphone.

Cool, but not enough to stave off peak smartphone.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

I’m one of those people who is bored with most new smartphone features and functions. Augmented reality?! Meh. Anthropomorphic animations?! No, thanks. Facial recognition?! Pass.

But I am genuinely intrigued by the coming versions of smartphones with folding screens. Yes, these devices from Samsung Electronics Co. and others are going to be outrageously expensive for a while, and I assume early models will be too flawed for normal humans. Eventually, though, I can imagine it will be useful to own a smartphone with a thin glass screen that bends, or one that unfurls to a larger display when I want to watch a movie. (I would also be happy with a shatterproof phone and a battery that lasts for days without a recharge.)