Breaking into the Foldable Phone Market - How OnePlus Plans to Compete

· 5 min read
Breaking into the Foldable Phone Market - How OnePlus Plans to Compete
How OnePlus Plans to Compete

Foldable phones are the latest craze in the smartphone world, and the competition is heating up as more players enter the market. While Chinese and European markets have already seen a surge of innovative foldable phones from established brands like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Motorola, the North American market has been dominated by Samsung. However, that's about to change as OnePlus is set to release its first foldable device later this year. With rumors of a possible August launch and two potential form factors, the OnePlus V Fold and OnePlus V Flip, tech enthusiasts eagerly anticipate what could be a game-changer in the foldable phone space.

The Chinese and European Markets

When it comes to the foldable phone market, China and Europe are two of the most important regions to consider. In China, Huawei dominates the market, while Samsung is the clear leader in Europe. Other companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are also showing strong in both regions.

Pete Lau, CEO, OnePlus
Pete Lau, CEO, OnePlus /

Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company, has been at the forefront of the foldable phone market in China with its Mate X series. The Huawei Mate X2, released in February 2021, is one of the best foldable phones on the market, boasting a large 8-inch display, powerful processing, and impressive camera capabilities. Xiaomi, another Chinese smartphone maker, has also made waves with its Mi Mix Fold, which features a large 8.01-inch foldable display and advanced camera technology.

In Europe, Samsung is the clear leader in the foldable phone market, with its Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip series. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, released in August 2021, is one of the most impressive foldable phones on the market, with a large 7.6-inch foldable display, 5G connectivity, and advanced multitasking capabilities. The Galaxy Z Flip 3, released alongside the Z Fold 3, is a more compact, foldable phone that flips vertically, with a 6.7-inch display and 5G connectivity.

Oppo has unveiled the Find N2 and Find N2 Flip
Oppo Find N2 and Find N2 Flip /

Other companies like Oppo and Vivo are also showing strong in China and Europe. For example, Oppo's foldable phone, the Oppo Find X3 Pro, features a large 7.56-inch foldable display and advanced camera technology, while Vivo's Vivo X60 Pro+ boasts a 6.56-inch foldable display and impressive camera capabilities.

The North American Market

Although the foldable phone market in North America is still emerging, there has been a gradual rise in demand for these gadgets in recent times. One of the biggest players in the region is Samsung, which has dominated the market with its Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip devices. The Korean tech giant has invested heavily in promoting its foldable phones in North America, partnering with major carriers such as Verizon and AT&T to offer exclusive deals and discounts.

Another significant player in the North American foldable phone market is Motorola, which has launched its Razr 5G device with a clamshell design. The device has been well-received for its sleek and compact form factor and its innovative hinge mechanism. However, some users have criticized the device for its relatively high price point and limited internal specs.

Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip
Galaxy Z Fold4 and Z Flip4 /

Other North American foldable phone market competitors include Huawei and LG. Both companies have faced significant regional challenges due to political and economic factors. Huawei, for example, has been banned from selling its smartphones in the US due to security concerns. LG has struggled to gain a foothold in the premium smartphone segment dominated by Samsung and Apple.

OnePlus Enters the Foldable Phone Market

OnePlus, the popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer, recently confirmed its plans to enter the foldable phone market at MWC 2023. The company has stated that it is working on a foldable phone that will be released in 2023. The announcement has generated a lot of excitement and speculation about the device's form factor and specifications.

According to industry insiders, the OnePlus foldable phone is expected to have a clamshell design similar to Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip and Google's Pixel Fold. It may also feature a flexible OLED display with a high refresh rate, a powerful processor, and a 5G modem. In addition, the phone is likely to run on Android and come with the latest version of OxygenOS, the company's proprietary user interface.

The BEST Tech at MWC 2023!

Comparing OnePlus' offerings with those of Samsung and Google, the OnePlus foldable phone is expected to be more affordable than Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip and Google's Pixel Fold. OnePlus has a reputation for offering high-quality devices at a lower price point than its competitors, and it is expected to follow the same strategy as its foldable phone.

OnePlus' entry into the foldable phone market is likely to have a significant impact on the industry. With its strong brand image and loyal customer base, OnePlus has the potential to disrupt the market and challenge the dominance of Samsung and other established players. In addition, the company's foldable phone is likely to appeal to consumers who want the latest technology at an affordable price point. This could lead to increased competition and innovation in the market.

The foldable phone market has come a long way since the initial release of Samsung's Galaxy Fold. With numerous players entering the market, it is evident that the demand for this innovative technology will only increase in the future. As we have seen, Samsung remains the undisputed leader in this field, but they face stiff competition from other tech giants such as Google and Xiaomi.

Google will introduce its first foldable phone, the Pixel Fold, during the Google I/O 2023 event.

Furthermore, the entry of OnePlus into the foldable phone market is bound to shake things up. With its reputation for offering premium features at an affordable price point, it will be interesting to see how OnePlus will differentiate itself from its competitors. The rumors surrounding their foldable phone suggest they will offer a unique design that folds inwards, setting it apart from Samsung's outward-folding devices.

Speculation surrounds the OnePlus foldable phone beyond the confirmed Q3 release date, as noted by Max Jambor from AllAboutSamsung in a recent tweet.

Max Jambor of AllAboutSamsung 

As consumers become more accustomed to foldable phones, we expect increased innovation in this space. Manufacturers will continue to explore new form factors, display technologies, and features to meet the evolving needs of consumers. But ultimately, it is the users who will benefit from these advancements, enjoying the convenience and flexibility that foldable phones offer.

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