I just didn’t know where else to post this, but it was such a perceptive and unbelievable admission by him in his review of the HP Spectre Foldable (emphasis is mine):
At a high level, meeting the needs of the present while pushing forward with new ideas, new workflows, and new form factors is a delicate balance. And in the HP Spectre Foldable PC specifically, we see the intersection of these conflicting desires, just as we do in the foldable smartphone market. Most would likely agree that folding display technology “is the future,” but that this future comes with an asterisk, a caveat. That is, it can’t just exist, it has to work reliably and work as well or better than existing solutions. It has to make sense today, not just in some vague future.
Put another way, the folding display debate can be framed by my right tool for the job missive of a decade ago: We dream of that magical device that can do the job of two (or more) separate devices, but this dream has often been dashed by a harsh reality: Those dual purpose devices have usually introduced compromises. They do the jobs of two devices, but poorly.
But it is the exceptions that keep the dream alive. The most obvious example is the iPhone, a device that Apple first marketed as “an iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator,” a phrase that seems quaint today but in fact undersold its capabilities. More to the point, the iPhone was a better iPod than the iPod, and a better phone than existing phones, and it offered a better Internet experience than other devices of its day. The iPhone was so successful, so much better, that it still forms the basis for most of the personal computing devices we use today. Its influence is almost infinite.
Looking at today’s folding display devices, especially in the smartphone space, it’s impossible not to wonder if we’re not experiencing another iPhone moment. There’s an argument to be made that we’re not because the smartphone market didn’t immediately adopt this new form factor across the board when the first of these devices appeared. But the retort is just as strong: Folding displays are so advanced and futuristic that their expense in the short-term simply means we’re in for a longer transition. The folding display, perhaps, is inevitable as the glass slab smartphone design that Apple formalized.
To me, there is no debate. Folding displays are the future, and they can and will contradict my “right tool for the job” rule in the same way the iPhone did. The only debate is when this will happen. And that timing will indeed be based on cost, as folding displays are prohibitively expensive today. But that price will come down. When, I cannot say.
A rare moment of candor indeed…