OnePlus seems to be planning to launch its first foldable phone this year. The company’s software lead Gary Chen hinted the same during a media conference at the ongoing Mobile World Congress (MWC 2022) that the company is working on foldable phone software alongside Google. Although the executive did not reveal anything about the device, his remarks suggest that we may see a foldable smartphone from OnePlus in 2022. “OnePlus is working with Google on flagship devices, including foldable phones, and the new features that can be introduced in OxygenOS 13.” Chen said as per Android Central.
At the news conference, Chen also said that OnePlus is working with Google to add new privacy and security features to the upcoming OxygenOS 13 operating system which is based on Android 13. As the new Android OS will include the work started in the Android 12L version, it is expected that the OS will work better on devices with larger screens including foldable smartphones. The Android 13 is rumoured to launch in fall 2022. OnePlus’ parent company, Oppo, also recently launched its first foldable smartphone, Oppo Find N, in China. The smartphone features a clamshell style design as seen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
If previous reports are to be believed, the OnePlus foldable smartphone may come with entirely new design. According to an OnePlus patent application reported by LetsGoDigital, the company is working on a tri-fold smartphone. The patent document named Mobile terminal shows a smartphone with three foldable display parts.
According to the patent application, the displays on the smartphone will be backed by double hinge which will allow the device to fold in multiple ways. As of now, Samsung, Xiaomi and Huawei are the front-runners in foldable display technology, but this design patent by OnePlus is unlike any other seen in the market.
Various reports suggest that the patent document for the foldable smartphone was filed in China in 2020 and was published in July 2021. The design has also been included in the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) database. The WIPO has also given a stamp of approval and protection to OnePlus for the patented technology.