Google could launch a folding Pixel in 2021
(Pocket-lint) – Google could be planning to launch a folding Pixel device, with a screen supplied by Samsung Display, new information has revealed.
This isn’t the first time that Google has been linked to folding devices. In 2019, Mario Queiroz, former VP of product management at Google, commented to CNET that Google was “prototyping the technology.”
In 2020, information from “an internal Android document” was discovered by 9to5Google, in which a codename – Passport – was revealed. Passport was said to be a folding device. The timeline appended to Passport was Q4 2021, which is traditionally when Google launches new hardware devices.
Which brings us up to the new information, detailing that Samsung Display will be supplying the hardware for a number of manufacturers looking to enter the folding phone space.
Oppo is believed to be developing a clamshell style device with a 7.7-inch display, larger than the 6.7-inches we’ve seen on the Galaxy Z Flip.
Xiaomi also thought to lining up to launch a folding phone, this time with an 8.03-inch display, suggesting it will go up against the Galaxy Z Fold.
Finally we have the details about Google, which suggest a folding OLED panel measuring 7.6-inches. That could be either a clamshell or book style device, but it’s the same size as the Galaxy Z Fold 2. There’s no details about which way it might fold.
Google itself has been talking about foldables too. In the introduction to the Android 12 beta – which launched on 18 February 2021 – Dave Burke, VP of engineering at Android, encouraged developers to optimise apps for larger screens, including foldables.
Android 12 also includes hints of a one-handed mode, leading many to believe that there’s a larger Pixel in the works. Some have suggested that there might be a Pixel 6 XL – as one-handed mode would be needed for a larger phone – but what if it’s really big, because it’s a 7.6-inch folding phone?
It’s a bit of a leap, but there are suggestions not only of Google’s interest in folding devices, but of some work happening behind the scenes that might lead to a future folding Pixel.
Writing by Chris Hall.