Samsung is leading the way with foldable phones right now, with the brand new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 setting the standard for other phone makers to follow – and the next in line to launch a foldable handset or two could well be Oppo.
As per Pricebaba, Oppo is going to go head to head against Samsung, even down to the naming: we're apparently getting a tablet-style Oppo Find N Fold and a clamshell-style Oppo Find N Flip in the next few months.
We already have the foldable Oppo Find N, which was launched last year (and we enjoyed using), but it's only available in China. It looks as though the new Fold and Flip models are going to be sold in more regions across the world, ready to give Samsung some serious competition.
Apart from the existence and the naming of these devices, there isn't too much to glean from this latest report.
One tidbit of information we do have is that the handsets are set to be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, the flagship mobile CPU of the latter half of 2022 (at least as far as non-iPhones are concerned).
Oppo and OnePlus merged last year, and OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has recently been tweeting about the hinge system used on the Oppo Find N. He's also been asking for feedback on "the next generation of foldables" via the OnePlus Community forums.
That suggests more Oppo foldables are indeed on the way – and perhaps that they might be joined by a foldable with OnePlus branding. Such a device has been rumored for several months, and with OnePlus and Oppo now pretty much the same company, all the technology is already there to put out a OnePlus Fold.
Analysis: getting the timing right
Samsung is undoubtedly out on its own with its foldable phones at the moment. We've also seen foldables from Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei and Motorola, but the availability of these handsets has been limited – the recently unveiled Moto Razr 2022 is only on sale in China at the moment, for example.
The signs are that plenty more foldables are coming though, and not just from Oppo. As manufacturers improve their production processes and the cost of foldables starts to come down, they should be much more widely available in a couple of years.
After Oppo and perhaps OnePlus, we're expecting to see a Google Pixel Fold make an appearance: Google has long been rumored to have a foldable phone in the works, but it feels as though there's finally some momentum behind the Pixel series, which would mean the timing is right to introduce another form factor.
It's the same with Apple – a foldable iPhone is almost certainly at least being tested, if not necessarily certain to be launched, but Apple seems prepared to take its time in developing it, clearly deciding that the world is not ready for ‘mainstream’ foldable phones, no matter what Samsung says.