Google reportedly has a foldalbe phone in the works, with the possibility of releasing the device as soon as this fall. But whenever the Pixel Fold does arrive, it should feature a foldable display from a familiar source.
ETNews (opens in new tab) reports that Samsung plans to supply the folding screens to Google for its upcoming Pixel Fold. Samsung certainly has experience in the foldables arena, as it currently makes two such devices — the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip.
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Even better news for Google: In addition to supplying the Pixel Fold with a bendable display, Samsung is also providing a layer of its ultra thin glass. That's the bendable glass that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy Z Flip that makes foldable phones feel sturdier and more polished.
Including a layer of ultra thin glass in the Pixel Fold would help Google's phone feel more durable — an important quality for foldable phones, as we discovered when we reviewed initial releases like the original Galaxy Z Fold. That phone had a plastic display which gave it a cheap feel that was incongruous with the $2,000 Samsung was charging at the time. Subsequent phones with the layer of ultra thin glass felt a lot more like the premium devices Samsung was marketing its foldable phone as.
Samsung has a thriving display business — it's also expected to supply the fast-refreshing screens Apple will use in the Pro models of the iPhone 13 this fall — and the ETNews report suggests that the Korean electronics giant is eager to expand its foldable display business. In addition to Google, potential customers for foldable screens include Oppo and Vivo, according to Android Authority (opens in new tab).
The Pixel Fold is expected to unfold to reveal a larger display inside, though details remain very sketchy at this point. The phone could potentially come out at the same time as the Pixel 6, which is due for a fall release.
Samsung has a few foldable phones of its own in the works. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are expected later this year, refining the performance and features on Samsung's most successful foldable phones.