Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is set to join the ranks of foldable smartphones makers in the new year, alongside the likes of Samsung, Huawei and LG, the company has confirmed.
While the firm did not offer any specific details about what we can expect from the device, product manager at Oppo Chuck Wang did appear to confirm in an interview with Dutch news site Tweakers.net that it might make its debut at Mobile World Congress 2019.
This is set to take place in Barcelona between February 25th and 28th, so there may not be too long to wait before we get to see Oppo's effort break cover.
MWC 2019 has also been suggested by many as a potential launch event for Samsung's foldable device. Although the company showcased its flexible screen as a developer's conference earlier this month, it made it clear that this was just a prototype, and we can expect a much more polished, consumer-ready gadget at some point in 2019.
It therefore seems as though foldable devices are set to be one of the defining trends in the smartphone market for 2019, as Huawei has also confirmed that it is developing a flexible-display model, which may also include 5G compatibility. Meanwhile, Xiaomi and LG are among the other firms rumored to be working on the technology.
While none of the big names have offered anything more than rumours so far, signs point to mid-2019 for the first devices to reach the hands of the public. However, they've all been beaten to the punch by startup firm Royole, which is set to begin shipping its FlexPai in December.
Some reviewers has already got their hands on the gadget, and the general consensus seems to be that, while the Royole FlexPai is clearly a first-generation product that has prioritised getting to market over providing a polished experience, the foldable screen technology does indeed work as advertised.
Therefore in the hands of bigger names with serious development budgets, foldable technology could actually live up to its promise.