An Abridged History of Foldable, Flippable Smartphones

A photo of the Galaxy Z Flip 3

Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

You don’t realize how cyclical life is until you return to a gadget trend after a decade. When I shut my Verizon-provided Samsung flip-phone, I figured that was the last time I would be flirting with that form factor, as candy bar-style smartphones were now taking over the general gadget zeitgeist.

Then, I reviewed the Galaxy Z Flip 3 last summer. And I realized there’s a future in folding smartphones. We’re expecting Samsung to introduce its fourth generation of the Z Flip and Z Fold sometime next month, based on the company’s history of launching only the “buzzworthy” smartphones around this time. Now is the best time to reflect on the journey that brought us here.

Samsung may be the manufacturer that’s popularized the folding smartphone, but others have introduced their own versions that are worth mentioning. Here’s an abridged look back at the history of the folding smartphone in the last decade.

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