MWC 2019: Oppo say foldable smartphones are still a work in progress (but show their prototype anyway)

Credit: Oppo

Oppo isn't bringing a foldable smartphone to Mobile World Congress but they did give us a few reasons why not.

Speaking to journalists at the company's European Innovation event, Oppo product manager Chuck Wang said that "we know that a lot of smartphone manufacturers are working on developing foldable smartphones."

"OPPO is taking into account a lot factors, like consumer demand, user experience, as well as the battery life of the smartphone. Currently, we haven't quite lived up to the standards we're pursuing, so we're not ready for commercial use or mass production."

Tweakers reported back in November that Oppo product manager Chuck Wang "confirmed" the company would be bringing a 5G smartphone and a foldable smartphone to this year's Mobile World Congress. However, only one of those two proved to be true.

When asked for clarification, Wang said the following:

"As an innovation led business, we're constantly exploring new technologies and products, and this includes a foldable smartphone. However, before we bring any product to market, we need to ensure that it meets our extremely high standards in terms of quality, performance and overall user experience. At this point in time we're not launching a foldable device, but we will continue to explore this, as well as other technologies."

Update: Oppo VP Brian Shen has since posted photos of a prototype for the company's first foldable phone on Weibo, revealing a device that looks a lot like Huawei's Mate X.

Credit: Oppo

What does this mean to consumers? An Oppo foldable smartphone might be in the works but until the company are able to balance the constraints of this new form-factor with more everyday factors like battery life, they're unlikely to put any serious muscle behind bringing it to market.

Disclosure - PC World Australia's coverage of this year's MWC in Barcelona was sponsored by Oppo who covered the costs of our flights and accommodation.

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Fergus Halliday
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