Foldable devices are no longer an innovation. They’re here, and smartphone-making powerhouse Samsung has long been their number one champion. But as we wait for the company’s fourth-generation foldables to launch later this month, it’s making us wonder if we’ll ever see viable folding smartphones from other manufacturers, too.
Enter OnePlus, whose parent company, Oppo, might be the key to its debut in the foldable market. According to 9to5Google, Oppo is currently set to release two new foldable smartphones in China and parts of Europe, called the Find N Fold and Find N Flip, both of which feature a similar naming scheme to Samsung’s releases and the same chip, the Qualcomm-made Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. But since Oppo doesn’t immediately do business in the U.S., it’s not far off to think that OnePlus, the brand with staying power in this market, could be the next to usher in foldable devices here. Especially if OnePlus’s co-founder Pete Lau’s tweets have any validity.
Pete Lau showed off a photo of a new hinge mechanism over the weekend, with noted leaker, Max Jambor, stoking flames. Jambor tweeted early today, “both clamshell and Find N are in development by OPPO/OP.” Jambor tweeted a similar tease back in May about foldables from OnePlus coming in 2023, which is why, following the Lau reveal, it’s making us curious.
OnePlus isn’t typically the brand to take the lead with new form factors, despite the big brand helping foot the bill. At the same time, it’s not far off to think that OnePlus would be the next one to try its hand at something that folds, especially since Samsung has had four generations to work out the kinks and marketing of its lineup of flippy phones. OnePlus is also known for attempting to offer bang for the buck, so why wouldn’t it try to undercut the cost of Samsung’s pricey foldable with something a little more approachable to the common consumer?
A foldable from OnePlus would also help the brand stand out as more than just a solid third choice in the U.S.-based Android wars. Though Lau had said in past interviews that foldables are not ready, Samsung’s latest sideshow indicates there’s at least some momentum building up. The Android operating system may be new to foldables and handling the different screen sizes, but Android 13 is built with this particular form factor in mind.
Speaking of which, we’re still holding out hope that Google’s folding Pixel smartphone will join the ring sometime next year. Though it’s been delayed a few times, we’re hoping for a teaser, with a launch slated for spring 2023—around the same time the rumor mill hopes to see a folding OnePlus device materialize.