There is a popular saying in the card game of Poker: “….Fold or MAKE THEM fold. Don’t show all your cards in each turn”

Whether that rings true in comparison of today’s mobile phone market is an open question. The consumer demand for greater technological satisfaction is now more evident than ever. It is said that the average person is estimated to be spending 3 hours per day on their smartphones. That may not seems like much time, but if you add them up, at the end of a perfect week, on a beautiful Sunday evening you may find yourself with a personal “Screen-On-Time” of almost 24 hours!, that’s right, almost a FULL DAY per week exclusively, completely, entirely, whole-heartedly, downright devoted to your mobile phone!

Alarming statistic if you are an average Joe and on the receiving end, but a golden key if you are in the business of mobile phone manufacturing…especially NOW! NOW that they can bend!

“…Serious poker is no more about gambling than rock climbing, It’s ALL about taking chances” Alfred Alvarez



Whether your cards have been dealt in 2019, or whether you find them satisfactory enough to be pokerfaced until 2020, and if those cards are adequate OR totally inadequate, or you might realise that you have the edge on everyone else now OR that your opponents think they have the edge on you now? Flustered by this new savoir-faire, might be a very good expression to start describing the 2019 hi-tech breakthrough on bending mobiles, but one thing is spot-on…. The technological bar has been raised and if you call the “raise” The time to “fold” is here and now…

“…Life, like poker has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced” Edward Norton


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Currently only a handful of players in the smartphone industry have placed their bets in this “World Series of Foldable Poker” It’s a seriously hot topic and everyone wants in, including TCL, the makers of BlackBerry mobiles. But for now the ones that played their stack of cards in the early months of 2019 was an interesting group. From veterans in the industry to the not so much ordinary to the downright unknown! But yet they decided to play their hand in the hopes of securing a foothold in the lucrative mobile business of foldable devices!

“…Everyone gets lucky once in a while, but no one is consistently lucky” Doyle Brunson

breathe in… First up is the Samsung Galaxy Fold, it sports an impressive unfolded 7.3-inch QHD+ AMOLED display, with a 4,380mAh battery, 12GB of RAM, Snapdragon 855 chipset and six cameras pricing close to $2000.00. The Huawei Mate X bends out to a striking 8inches. It packs a 4,500mAh battery, a triple-lens camera system with a Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage. But you have to pay more for this tiger, a remarkable $2600.00. The Motorola Razr v4 is rumoured to go back to basics with the form factor that we are so familiar with in the Razr range, this time the handset screen folds out lengthwise and is rumoured to start at $1,500.00. LG, Sony as well as Apple have been hard at work to produce foldable form factors of their own. From the LG camp they do have patented licence for a foldable phone, and will release such sometime in the near future. Sony on the other hand is busy working on a foldable / rollable smart device…Interesting! Release dates haven’t been given yet. Apple who has been bolting muscles about a foldable concept since 2017 will most probably release one in 2020 as they have recently acquired patents for a scroll-like foldable device.

Royole FlexPai, which is currently only available in China, is an interesting proof-of-concept device that flexes at the astonishing price of $1300.00. Xiaomi folds with double hinges, one on each side, rather than your “traditional” 2019 centrefolds. But also, it remains a concept device for now! Oppo has shown off a specification-less foldable concept. This device “folds” more towards the Huawei Mate X style than the Samsung Galaxy Fold. ZTE is also eagerly in the mix of corporations dedicated to a device specification that fold and lastly  Vivo, well, under its sub-branding iQOO is going to release a foldable means of communication with a steady price tag of 1000 US DOLLARS!!  …breathe out

So what does this ALL tell us? The simple answer is that all these foldable mobiles will cost you more than $1000.00 as a benchmark!


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TCL on the other hand, will play their hand in the months leading up to the 2020 release with devices that fold and will be marketed as sub the $1000 mark. Yes, they want their mobiles to be affordable and practical. It is said that the entry cost for a TCL foldable mobile is going to be a third of the cost of a Samsung Galaxy Fold. This is an impressive statement but also an expensive game, and probably a good idea not to overplay your hand as the stakes are higher than ever before and the competition is fierce. Most probably a worthy decision in order to see how the markets react to the pricey foldable craze, knowingly that most of the technological nasties have received their fair share of mobile medicine leading up to 2020.

“…It’s not enough to succeed, others must fail” Gore Vidal


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TCL are hard at work to stake their claim and make their foldable declaration a tangible realisation! They have a similar book-like device as some other top contender’s do, with LED lights on one side cover showing the current time amongst others and notable magnetic ends to keep the device tightly fastened. They presented a concept that transform a mobile phone into a 21st Century wristwatch, and yet another concept folds a device disproportionately uneven, creating a “screen-space” at the top for viewing inbound content, a sort of a sneak-peak at emails & messaging. It also slips into its own custom leather pocket (hopefully like BlackBerries of yesteryear, the company will include the pouch in retail packaging…that was such a great selling point!) Consolidating ALL these concepts into a contorting mobile device, one that bends from the inside-out and vice-versa without any form of restraint in this folding and bending requirement is a patent they call “…the Dragon-Hinge”

“…Playing your cards is a skill game, pretending to be a chance game” James Altucher


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These devices will all make use of a custom flexible AMOLED display from CSOT, an affiliate company of TCL. These displays will be housed in a mechanism that will consent to vigorous folding and bending in multiple orientations, providing seamless effort without adding fatigue onto the screen. A sturdy combination of engineering and forward vision, this “Dragon hinge” patent will thus contribute constructively to the expansion of TCL’s already impressive portfolio of innovative mobile technology. From the looks of it, it seems like a very safe-on-the-screen hinge system, if their claim are to be considered viable, then TCL will have a jewel in their crown because the hinge mechanisms in all of the players in this mobile bending game, are the real key to pliable phones. The behaviour of “the bend” need to assert the least amount of strain onto the screen as physics have the same conduct on anything that bends….IT WILL BREAK!

Within this TCL portfolio nestle two of the most distinguishable iconic mobile brands, BlackBerry and Alcatel… Who will be first in line to be knighted with the honour of bendable proficiency?

“…A player with money is no match against a player on a mission”Doyle Brunso


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Doubling up on their bets & playing their aces in approximately 9 months from now the battle of the “Bending Wars” is going to be taking a whole new shape. The world is geared up for a bending BlackBerry. Resistance from the all rigid phones from the past are futile.  This new era will bring an overabundance of new bendy-tech placing their stakes in the game of Mobile-Poker. The table is set to usher in a new chapter of mouldable mobiles, so let’s follow the “Battle of the hinges” as probingly as possible. Only time will reveal whether these current 2019 players are Innovating or Renovating? Who is a commanding contender and who will be the passive pretender?

“…Poker is like screenwriting, you have to go ALL in” A.D. Posey

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Knowing BlackBerry the naming is going to be massive! One might wonder what echoes in the halls at Waterloo right now. The name of the first bending Blackberry is a very important deal! So important that it must string the right cord with the end user…I personally think so! The name is going to be the persuader of the masses! If one takes into account their recent licks at naming phones, it was just perfectly on the dot! Think of the Passport, PRIV, the KEYᵒⁿᵉ and KEY² lineages. Those were very unique and distinctly fashionable to the BlackBerry branding.

Undoubtedly this new bending BlackBerry will be costumed towards this individuality.

If I may be permitted in playing my ace on behalf of BlackBerry in the naming of this new foldable phone I would be taking something from the past, add something from the present and naming something for the flexible future, by calling it…

The BlackBerry CURVEᵒⁿᵉ

“…Aces are larger than life and greater than mountains” Mike Caro

via community contributor Michael Fleming