Recently, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau sat down with the Italian publication Repubblica to talk about the future of OnePlus, including folding phones, smart TVs, and cars. According to Lau, OnePlus has considered making a foldable phone for over a year now, but there hasn't been a reason to justify it yet. He continues to say that foldable phones are a niche device at this point and don't offer any true benefit over traditional phones.
For now they are niche devices and these will remain in the near future. Not only because the costs are too high, but also because they basically don't do anything different than a traditional smartphone, they don't offer features that can make a difference.
Lau continued on to say that foldable displays offer possibilities, "although probably not so much in the field of telephones." He does believe it will have more potential once foldable displays mature. For now, the fold is too thick, but someday the technology will evolve where we can fold it like a sheet of paper. At that point, OnePlus may have a change of heart.
OnePlus is instead concentrating on developing an ecosystem, with a focus on building the next version of a smart TV. Lau elaborated by saying TVs haven't changed in 20 years, and in order to make a truly smart TV, you need a company that knows smartphones inside and out. He also prefers the term "smart displays" because televisions are rather dated and he imagines a display with true AI smarts that is part of an ecosystem with your phone.
Because at least twenty years in fact it has not changed. To make the TV really smart you needed a company that knows smartphone by heart. I prefer the name of smart displays rather than TV.
Today, for example, when you come back home you have to look for the remote control to turn on the television and this is already a really dated system. I imagine a screen that is always ready and anticipates various needs.
Artificial intelligence from this point of view can do amazing things and is maturing very quickly. He can learn from habits and provide what is needed when needed. We're working on it, it's too early to talk about dates.
On the subject of cars, Lau says OnePlus does not want to build a car saying, "it is impossible for a single company to build all the devices that surround us." Instead, he wants to focus on the software and platform. In the age of the Internet of Things and 5G, Lau believes everything will be connected in another 10 years. He envisions a future where we have a super assistant which can help us in ways we cannot even imagine now.
Besides foldables, TVs, and cars, Lau also touched on the subject of OnePlus continuing to pack the best technology into a phone for the most affordable price. Stating that OnePlus doesn't follow trends, and instead emphasizes on putting what is most necessary into a phone by focusing on just one model and updating it with more powerful hardware later in the year.
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