Oppo's big plans for early 2019 include foldable smartphone and 5G device for Europe (UPDATED)

Oppo's big plans for early 2019 include foldable smartphone and 5G device for Europe (UPDATED)
UPDATE: According to AndroidWorld (translated), Oppo's officials were misquoted as confirming the MWC 2019 foldable phone announcement. Instead, the company apparently told European journalists on a Shenzhen visit that it is aware of Samsung and Sony's plans in this fledgling segment, preparing some related news of its own that may be delivered as early as February 2019. That leaves a lot more room for interpretation and doubt, so we'll just have to wait and see exactly what happens at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Original story follows.

Samsung’s recent announcement of a groundbreaking Infinity Flex display to be used on its first foldable smartphone might have given the company temporary bragging rights over industry rivals (except for a little-known Stanford-founded device manufacturer), but the commercial race is not over yet.

As it remains unclear exactly when the Galaxy F (or Galaxy Flex) will hit global stores (in limited numbers), Oppo is officially joining the foldable war by confirming a related February 2019 launch event.

This will unsurprisingly take place at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to a product manager quoted by Dutch website Tweakers (translated), although we’re obviously still light on details.

We don’t know when and where this first Oppo foldable smartphone is supposed to become available for actual consumers, and we highly doubt the company will be able to beat Samsung to the commercial punch.

That’s because rumors of its interest in this exciting technology have been floating around for a little while, suggesting among others that Oppo will be using Samsung’s very own Infinity Flex screen as the latter aims to “grow the ecosystem.”

In addition to foldable designs, the increasingly ambitious OEM naturally wants a piece of the 5G pie as well, planning the European rollout of an unnamed phone with the next-gen cellular technology during the first half of 2019. Oppo has also started developing a prototype with a screen-embedded selfie camera, which may need until 2020 to become ready for primetime.

Meanwhile, a number of other smartphone manufacturers, from Huawei to LG to Lenovo, are considering throwing their hats into the foldable ring too in the coming months. What a time to be alive!

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