OnePlus has filed a patent for a folding smartphone, indicating the company is at least looking at the possibility to rival the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series. OnePlus had teased a foldable smartphone earlier; however, nothing seemed to be concrete at the time. As per the patent designs spotted LetsGoDigital, the company is looking at the option of working on a tri-fold smartphone, taking the folding phones- game a level above. That means the device will consist of not one but two hinges to achieve the desired form factor. The publication also published concept renders (via Parvez Khan, aka Technizo Concept) based on the patent, and the phone almost takes the form factor of a desktop keyboard in its fullest form.
The publication notes OnePlus‘ documentation patent titled ‘Mobile terminal’ was requested in China at the end of 2020. Following that, the Chinese documentation was included in the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) database for the worldwide protection of the patented technology. Interestingly, OnePlus’ sister brand under the BBK umbrella Oppo has filed several patents in the past for a folding device. Another brand under the conglomerate Realme is also said to be working on its first foldable smartphone.
As per the concept renders, it seems users can use the phone with even two screens if they do not wish to unfold the third display. The publication notes that OnePlus may see an opportunity to place the device in a triangle to allow several users to view content on the single device simultaneously. It may also be possible to achieve a Z-shape with the device. We cannot see the rear cameras, and the front panel seems to be housing an under-display camera, similar to Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G. Overall, it is just a patent, and OnePlus could simply be exploring the idea of a foldable device. It may see the light of the day as well.