Oppo may be developing its own foldable smartphone
Mobile phone design may soon be flipping back around on itself. Handsets evolved from clamshells to stiff slabs; Samsung’s Galaxy F foldable smartphone may be pushing smartphones back to a foldable chassis. While the foldable smartphone may seem like a gimmick to some, the design may get a push from one of Samsung’s largest competitors: Oppo.
According to a recent patent filing with the Chinese patent office (SIPO), Oppo has drafted design plans for a foldable smartphone. It should be noted that the patent only covers the design of the smartphone, not the actual mechanism that makes the magic happen.
Oppo’s draft features a single large display of unspecified size that folds outward down the middle. This gives the smartphone a front and rear display in its folded form. The design is otherwise similar to what we see in many modern smartphones and tablets: volume buttons on the side; a power/lock button on the top; and a speaker, headphone jack, and charging port along the bottom.
Oppo apparently submitted multiple design drafts to the SIPO, but the main difference between the designs is camera placement. One design features two cameras on the “un-screened” side and a single front-facing camera above one half of the foldable screen. Another design places two cameras on the front, one above either half of the display. Obviously, Oppo is still toying with the idea of a foldable smartphone, so they probably haven’t nailed down details like camera placement quite yet.
Speaking of nailing things down, it should be pointed out that a patent filing is not indicative of a definite release. Companies patent ideas that never see commercial release all the time. However, a patent filing does show that Oppo has at least thought about making a foldable smartphone. Depending on the success (or lack thereof) of the Samsung Galaxy F, we may see this Oppo phone once again.