The picture to the right is of the Kyocera EOS folding concept phone. It offers a flexible OLED display that can fold up like a wallet or open up for a larger wide-screen view. It's a concept and not commercially available. But it's pretty striking and aspects of this may be incorporated into future Kyocera devices. Amazingly it also "derives its energy from human interaction."
Separately HTC, whose Snap phone just won FCC approval, is bringing out its next generation of "Touch" devices. The Touch Pro 2 will reportedy cost $880 in the US at full retail. Of course it will be subsidized by carriers but at that price or anything above $200 its prospects are extremely limited. In the US market $200 is now the ceiling for smartphones. The iPhone, Android G1 and the Pre are all priced at $200 or below.
Finally RIM will be rolling out several more touch screen devices in the future. According to a summary of inteview remarks made by RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis:
Lazaridis also hinted that the company will be coming out with other touch-screen smartphones, but did not confirm reports that RIM is already planning a "Storm 2" later this year that will have Wi-Fi and a new input method. Additionally, there's speculation that the company is working on a BlackBerry that has a full QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen.
I'm expecting a coming generation of networked devices that will depart from familar "form factors" and sit between standard smartphones and netbooks or laptops. We can expect that this personal Internet technology will only continue to evolve and diversify from what exists today. Once you solve the connection problem you can start to develop a broad range of devices that offer Internet, video and voice -- and don't need to look like phones.