Google confirms a second Pixel Fold could have happened

Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel Fold finally launched at Google I/O earlier this month, and it set to be released on June 27. But it turns out that the phone wasn’t always supposed to arrive by itself. According to Google a second Pixel Fold device was also planned, only to be canceled because it wasn’t good enough.

This news comes from Ivy Ross, head of design for hardware products at Google, during an episode of the official Made by Google podcast. Apparently the second foldable was being developed but, according to Ross, Google “had the discipline to hold back and say ‘nope, it’s not good enough yet,’ and really wait until we felt like we could do something that was good enough or better than what was out there already.”

Ross didn’t elaborate on what shape or form this second foldable device could have taken. If we were to guess, we’d put our money on it being a flip-style device akin to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 or the Motorola Razr

We already know Google has been exploring the possibility of creating a Pixel Flip, and that the company is open to other foldable form factors. The fact that there are foldable flip phones to compete with already, and the relative simplicity of the design makes it an obvious choice. On top of that Samsung has previously said the Z Flip accounted for 70% of its foldable shipments in 2021.

This is, of course, assuming that there wasn’t some other foldable design being tinkered with behind the scenes. What form such a phone could take isn’t very clear, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been a possibility.

The question is, what was it about this foldable that meant it wasn’t good enough to be released? Without any additional information the issue could be one (or more) of a multitude of problems. Whether it’s the hinge, the flexible screen, battery life, some sort of software issue, or something else entirely. We’re not likely to find out anytime soon.

Here’s hoping that we see the Pixel Flip, if it is that, arrive fairly soon — just so long as Google gets the device working correctly. In the meantime you can read all about the upcoming Google foldable in our Google Pixel Fold hands-on, ahead of its full release in less than a month’s time.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.