OnePlus, known for its high-spec Android phones at affordable prices, is making waves in the smartphone industry with its upcoming foldable phone. The company recently showcased its foldable device to YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, even before it’s ready for release.
In a video uploaded to the channel, Unbox Therapy host Lewis Hilsenteger had a conversation with Pete Lau, the founder of OnePlus and now the chief product officer of Oppo. The key selling point of the unnamed foldable phone is its ability to fold flat. According to Lau, OnePlus has filed 35 patents related to the device’s hinge, aiming to reduce weight and size while increasing strength.
Compared to the Oppo Find N2, the OnePlus foldable has 31 fewer components in its hinge and is 37% smaller. Demonstrations of the fold revealed that it can hold a sheet of paper with enough force to support the weight of the phone. This suggests that OnePlus has focused on ensuring durability and a seamless folding experience.
While the iPhone continues to dominate major markets worldwide, foldable phones are an area that Apple has yet to explore. This provides an opportunity for companies like Samsung, Google, and now OnePlus to differentiate themselves and potentially attract Apple users. The foldable smartphone market is growing rapidly, with shipments increasing by 10% in 2023, while overall global smartphone shipments declined by 9%, according to Counterpoint Research.
However, it is important to note that even with the growth in demand for foldable phones, Samsung has recently cut its foldable production targets due to an excess inventory of 8 weeks, indicating some challenges in the market.
OnePlus has faced criticism in recent times for deviating from its core identity as a brand that delivered great value for money. As OnePlus and Oppo have merged, some critics have pointed out the similarities between their products and the gradual increase in prices.
In response to this criticism, Pete Lau highlighted the strengthened research and development capabilities of the merged company, emphasizing the launch of industry-leading technologies and products that have garnered positive reception among consumers.
The OnePlus foldable phone seems to be a return to the company’s original DNA, with the reintroduction of the unlock slider and a focus on innovation. While a release date has yet to be announced, Indian actress Anushka Sharma was seen holding a folding phone that closely resembled the OnePlus foldable, hinting at its imminent launch.
Overall, OnePlus’ entry into the foldable phone market is an exciting development, bringing its own unique features and value proposition. As competition in the foldable phone segment intensifies, it will be interesting to see how OnePlus positions itself among other major players and whether it can successfully capture consumers’ attention with its foldable offering.