Update: The Google Pixel Fold has once again been tipped for an 2023 release. This time Q1 of next year is on the cards.
The Google Pixel Fold has been a long rumored device — and although there has never really been any mention of it from the company itself, we have heard a lot about the potential hardware Google could bring to its foldable. But the big question remains on the launch of the device and leaves us wondering about the status of the Pixel Fold.
A new report from The New York Times (opens in new tab) now gives us some insight on the tech giant's production plans and mentions Google is “exploring a foldable for 2023." Rumors have trickled in about when we could expect the device and they have swung from “on now” to “off now”.
The Pixel Fold was initially tipped to arrive by the end of the year, but then another report claimed that Google has delayed the Pixel Fold again probably to next year. Now the new report suggests the foldable phone is on track for a launch in 2023.
Google is also seemingly pulling out all the stops to ensure its plan remains intact with production. The New York Times reports that Google is moving some of its manufacturing of its phones from China to Vietnam to navigate the tariffs that the US has been levying on Chinese exports.
The result of the tariff battle is that Google is looking to move its upcoming Pixel 7 assembly to Vietnam and not just that — apparently half of next year’s high-end phones will also be from the country. This could include the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 8 and maybe even the Pixel 8 Pro.
The report also mentions that for the Pixel Fold, the challenge remains that “using a newer screen and hinge technology would probably require production to be close to key suppliers in China." With tech companies having so many suppliers of different parts in the same country, we will have to see how Google plans on moving its supply chain out of China.
A reasonably priced Pixel Fold?
Previously, Google has produced some of its budget “A” series phones in Vietnam, while Pixel 6 Pro, Pixel 5 and other past models have all been from China. We wonder if the subsequent shift to Vietnam could mean leaner costs for Google’s phones in the future, making them more affordable, since they would avoid US’s hefty tariffs out of China. Especially with Google apparently gearing up to launch a new product category with its own foldable — could the Pixel Fold reap the benefits and be priced reasonably?
While it is possible, some of Google’s “key suppliers” are still in China, like the report mentions. Having all the suppliers in one country reduces shipping costs for tech companies, so we will have to see how Google navigates that challenge.
Either way, Google will have to gear up to take on Samsung’s pricey foldables, namely the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and the Galaxy Z Flip 4 that recently hit launched for $1,799 and $999, respectively. This also ties in with what we have heard before — that the Pixel Fold could cost less than the Galaxy Z Fold line and is tipped to be priced at $1,400, which would be a very welcome move.
The Pixel Fold also recently leaked by Google's own camera app which could mean the company is internally testing the device or its camera. The likely camera hardware on the Fold was also leaked — and it included a 50MP main camera along with two 12MP sensors and an 8MP one.
In terms of design, the Pixel Fold could ditch the notch and have a camera in the bezel of the phone. With these specs the Pixel Fold could definitely be a strong contender for our best foldable phones list once it launches. For now, all eyes are on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro that are tipped to launch on October 13 this year.