Forward-looking: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold might be a bit of a disaster, but that isn’t discouraging other companies from developing folding phones. One of these is Google, which says it has been prototyping the technology for some time now, but it isn’t in a hurry to bring a foldable Pixel to market.
In an interview with CNET, Mario Queiroz, head of Pixel development at Google, said that while the firm has been working on foldable tech, he doesn’t think there’s a clear use case yet.
“We’re prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies, and have no related product announcements to make at this time,” Querioz added. He also said foldables should offer more than just a bigger screen. "I think it needs to be more innovative than that."
"The use case is going to need to be something where you go, 'Hey, I definitely need to have this.' Right now, you don't need to have a foldable. It's kind of a 'nice-to-have.'"
In addition to Samsung and Royole, we know Huawei, Xiaomi, LG, and Lenovo are working on folding devices, so it’s not a total surprise to learn that Google has been working in this area, especially as it offers native support for foldables in Android Q.
Right now, Google will be focusing on supporting the new Pixel family of budget smartphones, having revealed the 3a and 3a XL devices at its I/O conference—so don’t expect a foldable Pixel anytime soon.
A new release date for Samsung’s Galaxy Fold still isn’t in sight, and the company has told customers their preorders would be canceled if they didn’t get in touch by May 31.
Analyst firm Gartner predicts that foldable shipments will reach 30 million units by 2023, meaning they’re expected to remain a niche, luxury item for a long time.