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Smartphones may be %$&!* flippin’ soon!

Thinner, faster and more intelligent wasn’t enough for consumers looking forward to the next wave of smartphone improvements, but buyers may do an about-face when they learn that many models in 2017 will contain improved graphics, higher resolution screens and more storage.

Following are two trends garnering serious conversation and giving smartphone buyers a lot to look forward to in the New Year.

Wireless-charging features continue to intrigue smartphone users. Although the technology is currently available for Samsung phones, it has yet to appear on Apple iPhones. Lately, though, the rumor mill has been buzzing about the possibility of Apple releasing wireless charging within the next 18 months.

Warning to potential iPhone 8 users: You may “flip” as Dad’s favorite phone from the ’90s is making a return. Put your money on this prediction! According to Patently Apple, one of two folding phone patent filings contained the iPhone name (Apple used an engineer’s name during the filing process to keep it extremely quiet), leading many to believe the hints of reality are closer than ever.

The patent suggests the future iPhone will be made of glass, ceramic, fiber, aluminum or plastic – materials all currently used on the those devices. But it is important to note that a new material introduction was included under the name of “carbon nanotubes,” which allows the device to be “folded.” Another potential model shows three hinges – and it actually folds over itself twice.

The iPhone8 rumors lead me to believe we are not too far off from a personal prediction I’ve had for awhile: a smartphone without the reference or capability of being a “phone,” as it would be equipped with texting, browsing and social media features only. With the younger generation expressing “voice is out,” (right or wrong), why wouldn’t a device minus the built-in voice communications be in the works? 

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