Following a leak in August that revealed Google was planning to release its first folding Pixel phone in late 2021, Korean industry site TheElec is now reporting that Samsung will begin production of folding OLED panels in October for Google, Vivo, and Xiaomi’s upcoming folding phones.
Google has previously downplayed reports of any Pixel phone, but it’s looking increasingly likely that the tech giant is looking to get in on the ground floor of foldable technology. Foldable phones have been around for a few years now, and as Samsung’s latest model has shown, the technology has the potential to be a gamechanger.
Foldable phones are particularly useful for those that enjoy playing games such as online slots, as the bigger screen makes it easier to play and a lot more fun. With a bigger screen, players can enjoy everything the game has to offer visually as well as make use of the touchscreen with a higher level of accuracy.
Smartphones have been getting bigger over the last few years, but the bigger they get, the harder they are to hold and carry around. Foldable phones combine a big screen with portability, allowing users to fold their screen up to normal size when not in use. Samsung is currently the biggest phone manufacturer with a foldable model on the market, and although there have been teething problems, there is a rapidly growing market for foldable mobiles. As the technology behind OLED screens improves and ultra-thin glass becomes more durable, the consumer demands for foldables will increase.
The Foldable Pixel
Google has always been open about its intentions of creating a foldable device. In 2019, the company filed patent applications for its own folding screens and acknowledged to developing and testing them for a long time, telling CNET that it didn’t have “a clear use case yet.” However, it appears that Google is close to announcing a foldable, codenamed “Passport.” Last month, users discovered a new reference to it in Android 12’s code, alongside other codenames rumoured to be the Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a 5G. Apparently, the phone will have a single 7.6-inch panel that folds inward.
Although the Pixel foldable is all but confirmed, it’s unclear who will be manufacturing the device at the moment. Google will possibly contract the manufacturing out to a more experienced company, such as Samsun. Samsung serves as a contract manufacturer for a variety of mobile phone companies, including Apple, which uses Samsung to produce some of its domestic chips. In any case, it’s been reported that Samsung will most likely give other smartphone manufacturers its unique ultra-thin cover glass, and Google will be one of the major companies to use this.
Other Foldable Phones
Google isn’t the only phone company looking to launch its first foldable phone. Xiaomi announced its Mi Mix Fold earlier in the year. Oppo’s new foldable phone, featuring a 7.1-inch main screen and a smaller outside screen between 1.5 and 2 inches diagonally, has been in development for some time but will likely be delayed until 2022.
Foldable phones have been growing in popularity since they first came to market in 2019. The technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and although earlier models weren’t that successful, the later models are expected to be a big hit. Consumer demand for bigger screens is growing as people begin to use their smartphones to stream films and shows as well as play the latest games. Foldable phones use new types of ultra-thin OLED screens that are highly durable while also being flexible.