Don’t expect a OnePlus foldable phone anytime soon, the TV comes first

Speaking with the Italian press recently, OnePlus’ co-founder opened up about his opinions on foldable technology and where he thinks his company’s focus best lies beyond the launch of the OnePlus 7.

With the impending arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X (among other foldables), speculation about when and what we can expect from competitors has been rife.

There’s talk of a RAZR revival from Motorola, the company that owns BlackBerry showcased a number of foldable concepts at Mobile World Congress 2019 and even LG tried its hand at something in the ballpark of a foldable, with a second-screen accessory designed to augment its LG V50 ThinQ 5G flagship.

With this in mind, a recent interview between OnePlus’ CEO, Pete Lau and major Italian news outlet, La Repubblica, granted greater insight into what the Chinese phone maker’s plans are in this area.

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When asked why OnePlus hasn’t outwardly shown itself to be competing in the foldable space right now, Lau explained, “For over a year we have been considering a folding phone, but we have not yet found a way to build a device that, in our opinion, is really valid in the eyes of our users.”

In its current state, Lau describes foldables as niche devices, due to their high price tags and the lack of differentiation that they bring to the table when compared to a traditional smartphone or tablet experience. “They basically don’t do anything different than a traditional smartphone, they don’t offer features that can make a difference,” he stated.

Lau highlighted the most prominent shortcomings with current foldable technology, namely the engineering challenges that come with developing such devices, not to mention the added cost – a particularly prominent point when OnePlus is concerned, being a company that has always tried to undercut the competition without sacrificing features of quality with its devices.

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Instead, Lau stated that OnePlus can more immediately make a greater contribution to the TV space, a market that his company confirmed they would be entering into in 2019.

OnePlus TV: Trusted Reviews

When questioned as to why OnePlus is expanding beyond the smartphone space into televisions, Lau talked about the stagnation and lack of innovation within the current TV market, “Today, for example, when you come back home you have to look for the remote control to turn on the television and this is already a really dated system.”

“I imagine a screen that is always ready and anticipates various needs. Artificial intelligence from this point of view can do amazing things and is maturing very quickly.”

While he wasn’t willing to expand beyond this, it sounds as though AI may take a more prominent role in forthcoming OnePlus’ technologies, not to mention we should expect tight integration between the company’s smartphones and its debut television or “smart display,” as Lau preferred to describe it.

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