Why OnePlus is Not Going to Offer a Foldable Smartphone … For the Moment

There is a link with the prices offered for Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X

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The foldable format may be the future of smartphones, but not all manufacturers have taken the plunge yet. The Chinese manufacturer OnePlus will not develop a foldable phone anytime soon, said CEO Pete Lau in an interview with CNET during the MWC. This is largely because of the price.

Is a cost too high?

The first foldable smartphones unveiled by Samsung and Huawei cost about double – or in the case of Huawei, triple – the price of many high-end smartphones available today. The Galaxy Fold Samsung will cost 1980 dollars when it goes on sale on 26 April. And the Mate X even reaches 2300 euros.

“With this technology, costs are high,” Lau said. “But the value to the end user doesn’t seem to correlate.”

He indicated that OnePlus had studied this possibility. But this type of format may be “very interesting the costs are definitely too high.” For OnePlus, the price of a device is an important consideration. The Chinese manufacturer has earned a reputation for providing a high-end phone experience for nearly half the cost of many high-end devices.

Its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 6T, costs only €549 for the 128 GB model with 6 GB of RAM. In comparison, the latest phones from Apple and Samsung cost €1000 and more.

oneplus 6t official

Early days – rise in prices

Foldable smartphones are considered the next big leap in phone design. People keep their phones longer than before, and it becomes harder and harder to justify an expensive upgrade given the relatively minor changes made each year. The hope with foldable smartphones is to revive the dynamics of the first years.

In the case of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the device is a compact phone with a 4.6-inch screen when closed and a 7.3-inch tablet wider when fully open. The Galaxy Fold has six cameras, three in the back, one in the front and two in the interior. It comes with 12 gigabytes of RAM and two batteries.

Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which adopts a format similar to a book with the screen on the inside, the Huawei Mate X spreading outward. Once opened, the screen reaches 8 inches.

TCL unveiled its new multi-gear DragonHinge hinge for foldable smartphones and introduced several possible designs that it could achieve one day. “We see the opportunity to really shape and bring something fresh to market … because there are so many different ways you can do [foldables],” said Stefan Streit, TCL’s general manager of global marketing, in an interview.

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