Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was the first foldable cell phone that delivered a screen that was twice the size of most smartphones.
That was four years ago and the phone was plagued with delays and technical issues that caused most consumers to ignore the device.
But more companies are beginning to embrace the idea of what is, in essence, a cross between a phone and a tablet.
Recently, Chinese cell phone manufacturer OnePlus and parent company Oppo teamed up to engineer a new foldable phone option.
The result is the OnePlus Fold due for release later this year.
Oppo will brand a device for separate markets under the Oppo brand.
The new device is slim and provides phone functions when foldable and a wide tablet-like screen when unfolded.
It is hard to tell how the device will hold up to the wear and tear of real life, but the $1800 price tag will make this a status symbol at best.
This isn’t preventing other smartphone companies from rushing their own products to market.
Google has its own foldable device, and Motorola is bringing back its classic Razr in a foldable format.
But many are skeptical of this new trend.
Carl Pei who helped found OnePlus before quitting to form a new smartphone company called Nothing said of the foldable trend, “I don’t think consumers walk around saying, hey, I wish my phone could fold. I think it’s an innovation that the manufacturers are pushing onto the consumer.”
It remains to be seen if consumers agree.