OnePlus is not working on a foldable phone, company CEO Pete Lau confirmed when speaking to students at the European Design Institute in Milan, Italy. Previously, multiple rumours had stated that OnePlus may be developing their own rendition of a foldable smartphone device, as companies across the industry strive to innovate and take the mobile industry forward. However, Lau has seemingly confirmed that instead of a foldable phone, OnePlus is instead working on building a TV that will have smart controls and not a conventional remote.
The reason for this, according to Lau, is that foldable phone do not do anything that is fundamentally different from a conventional smartphone. It is certainly a nice piece of innovation, but the technology still stands as more gimmicky and does not drastically alter the potential of a smart communication and entertainment device. Instead, Lau appears to believe that there is mork work and innovation to be done around building a TV, or “smart screens” as he referred to it. This leaves the possibility of seeing a OnePlus TV with integrated voice assistant and maybe some sort of an unconventionally structured remote, such as the minimalistic remote of the Apple TV.
OnePlus is also looking to leverage the advancements of machine learning and 5G connectivity to build tools for the automotive industry. This would enable the company to enter the connected car industry, which is pretty much what every technology company has aimed at already. The company may also look to build business tools using the same technologies, as it looks to expand beyond phones.
However, these projects are possibly some time away into the future, and of all the projects that Lau spoke about, the OnePlus TV is what we as consumers will possibly see at the earliest.