Folding phones haven't really caught on yet, but they will – and Samsung's new bendy battery will help enormously.
Samsung is currently the biggest name associated with foldable phones, having already got two to market: the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip. We're expecting another one sometime this year, although probably not at the upcoming Galaxy Unpacked event on the 5th of August (a preview would be nice, though).
Behind the scenes, the big S has been working hard on bendy batteries that'll make it much easier to manufacture phones like these. Existing foldables have got around the issue by using connected batteries in each part of the phone, but that rules out more interesting folding and bending handsets. Batteries that flex will make a huge difference to the design possibilities available not only to phones, but wearables, tablets, laptops – you name it.
SDI, Samsung's battery-making arm, has been working on the problem since 2016, when it created a prototype with just 210 mAh (a typical smartphone today is about 3,000mAh). Now, a report suggests it's almost ready to start mass-producing foldable cells that offer between 3,000 and 6,000 mAh. That's a huge deal.
If you're still thinking "why on earth would anyone want a foldable phone", as people bafflingly keep asking us, the answer is "why wouldn't you?". When you're watching a film on your phone, you want the screen to be as big as possible. When it's in your pocket, you want it to be as small as possible. If you can't see how a device that can easily fold up from one to the other is useful, we don't know what to tell you.
Anyway, according to TechRadar the market for flexible batteries will rise from its current $98 million to around $295 million by 2025 (if we're still alive), so companies that like money will be very interested even if you're not. [TechRadar]