A new report listing customers for Samsung’s foldable OLED panels includes a very interesting client: Google. Could the Pixel Fold be a 2021 product?
Korean site The Elec says that Google, alongside Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Vivo, has ordered foldable panels that will go into mass production in October. The report adds that all three companies will unveil their foldable handsets in the fourth quarter of the year.
That’s not to say that all three screens will be made to the same specifications, though. The Elecs says that while Google’s panel – presumably destined for the Pixel Fold – will be 7.6-inches, Vivo requires an 8-inch foldable panel with a 6.5-inch outer display, making it sound similar in design to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard that Google is looking to get into the foldable game.
Earlier this year Jon Prosser, a leaker with a pretty solid track record for phones, tweeted that “the Google Pixel ‘Fold’ is a real thing”, and added that the device would go on sale late this year or early next year when pressed for more information.
Google typically launches new hardware towards the end of the year, so this certainly feels possible assuming the hardware is deemed ready for show time. If it is, then the company will certainly have an interesting launch event, given we’ve heard that Google is also planning on eschewing Qualcomm for its own brand of chipset for the Pixel 6.
While foldable phones have been commercially available since 2019, they still haven’t reached the levels of adoption where they’re routinely spotted in public. That’s chiefly down to the stratospheric prices that having a foldable screen demands. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, for example, launched at £1799 over here, and even the smaller flip phone style Galaxy Z Flip started at £1300. The latest rumour says that Samsung will be pushing a big price cut for the next generation of foldables, but colour us sceptical.
We have reached out to Google to ask about the reported foldable screen order, and will update this piece when we hear back from the company.