The company may have bowed out of developing a Pixel Watch, but a folding Pixel still seems likely – after a leak indicated Google would launch its first folding phone by late 2021.
In a new report, Korean industry site TheElec has revealed that Samsung is preparing to start manufacturing folding OLED panels in October for upcoming folding phones to be introduced by Google, Vivo, and Xiaomi.
According to CNET, Google has been prototyping folding screens for quite some time, but doesn’t have a clear use case for them yet, despite its patent application for itself in 2019.
It appears that Google is close to revealing a folding Pixel device with the codename “Passport.” It has been mentioned by 9to5Gooogle blog many times in Android 12, including in Android 12’s code, and in code names for the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a 5G, as well.
According to TheElec, it will have a single 7.6-inch foldable screen, while Vivo’s phone will have an 8-inch main screen and a 6.5-inch outer screen. This article didn’t mention the size of the screen of the Xiaomi phone.
The folding Pixel may come with a display that Google actually designs, though it isn’t confirmed; Samsung acts as a contract manufacturer for a number of companies, including Apple, which produces some of its own processors.
Samsung’s ultra-thin glass cover which is technically made by German company Schott may still be made available to other smartphone manufacturers. Google should also use it, according to ETNews.
In early May, Xiaomi announced its Mi Mix Fold folding phone, but it sounds like the company has a second one in the works. Oppo is also reported to be to come to the United States with the new foldable phone in 2022. The phone should have a screen with a diagonal size of 7.1 inches and a smaller screen between 1.5 and 2 inches.