When I look back on the two months that I spent as a delivery courier in Los Angeles, my grandmother’s familiar words of wisdom come to mind: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Whoever coined this phrase clearly lived several decades before the birth of the internet. We could argue that my grandmother’s wisdom is no longer true — or, at the very least, it deserves a healthy asterisk. In my case, the lunch is free if the customer doesn’t answer the door within 10 minutes. The bad news? That lunch is worth much less than my time.
This is the one question that I’ve been asking myself from the moment I first learned about recent advances in flexible display technologies. It’s hard to believe that the “smartphone era” began over a decade ago, yet we’re still focused on how we can improve it. As we continue to push the boundaries of a device with such a small form factor, we shouldn’t forget to ask ourselves the simplest of questions: What problem is this new feature actually solving?