We could see Google's first foldable phone — potentially called the Google Pixel Fold — appear before the end of the year, as production for the folding display has been tipped for October.
According to TheElec's sources, Samsung Display will be making foldable OLED panels for Google in the fall. And the Pixel Fold is said to arrive before the end of 2021, with Google unveiling its foldable phone around the same time as those from Vivo and Xiaomi.
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Google's foolable phone, possibly codenamed "passport," has been rumored for some time. It's said to use just a single 7.6-inch display on the inside, unlike many popular foldables, which also use secondary displays on the outside. However, there are few other rumors about the rest of its features.
Older release date rumors and leaks back up what TheElec reports. A leaked Google document said a foldable phone was planned for this year, and foldable displays expert Ross Young has previously predicted the Pixel Fold will release before the end of 2021.
TheElec states that Samsung Display will be producing the flexible panels for Google's foldable, as had been previously rumored. Chinese phone makers Vivo and Xiaomi will also reportedly receive these panels for their own foldables, expected to debut in the fourth quarter of the year. Xiaomi has already launched a foldable, the Mi Mix Fold, which also features a Samsung-made panel.
Of course, Samsung makes its own foldable phones, and some of the parts from these phones may be found on the Pixel Fold. A previous rumor has said Google's display will use the same ultra-thin glass found on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2, which could add strength to the flexible screen.
Samsung has at least two new foldable phones on the way this summer, according to various reports, in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. And just this week we learned that these Samsung foldables could be 20% cheaper.
Google usually hosts a Made by Google event in the fall, where it announces its new phones and other devices. This seems like the most likely place we'd hear about the Pixel Fold in full, excluding any official teasers, alongside the anticipated Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a.
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Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.