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Is Apple the Only Major Brand Not Releasing a Foldable Phone in 2019? Probably

A new rumor claims that these renders are Vivo’s foldable phone. They are most probably fake, but that doesn’t mean Vivo is not releasing a foldable phone this year. Because, who the hell is not doing that these days?

Nobody. That’s who. Except Apple.

Credit: Queen’s Technology/Weibo

(Image credit: Queen’s Technology/Weibo)

In the Android camp, Google is pushing hard for foldable displays. The company worked specifically with Samsung to develop the technology behind the Galaxy F, but the giant has also been working hard to make its operating system friendly with every foldable app out there, enabling the necessary frameworks and getting developers on board.

As a result, you have Huawei releasing a foldable at Mobile World Congress. Xiaomi will show its own foldable too, a quite cool triptych design. LG will also be showing a foldable at the conference, according to reliable rumor wizard Ice Universe. Motorola is reportedly resurrecting the Razr in foldable form. Rumors says that Chinese giant Oppo is also announcing a foldable at MWC.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy F Rumors: Foldable Phone Release Date, Specs

And now, it may be Vivo’s turn. Someone called “Queen’s Technology” posted these renders yesterday in the Chinese social media site Weibo. They show a flexible phone that looks just like the Royole FlexPai or the rumored Huawei. The Weibo post was dug by tech site Liliputin.

Queen’s Technology/Weibo

Queen’s Technology/Weibo

The Weibo user claims that it will be the first flagship of Vivo’s new Iqoo brand. Previously it was reported that Iqoo was going to be Vivo’s high-end gaming line. Since this Queen has no record whatsoever, I don’t give any credence to this rumor. It may be true because everyone and their uncle is pulling a foldable out of their raincoats. But that’s it.

While Apple has filed for some foldable phone patents, it’s highly unlikely that the conservative Californian company will put anything out in 2020.

There have been no credible rumors that can support that theory so far and, by the look of it, Tim Cook and his minions may be waiting until other manufacturers test for the viability of the format or until the technology cost becomes affordable so Apple can charge its typical high margins — or both. That would also fit in with Apple's well-established pattern of rolling out a product only after it's figured out a way to improve upon what's already out there.

Whatever the case, this makes me feel kind of a deja vu. Remember when Samsung and the rest of the Android phones stole Apple’s thunder with their big phones while Steve Jobs kept dissing big phones? This may be that story all over again.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.