Google is prototyping a foldable Pixel smartphone, but don’t expect it anytime soon
A few years ago, Google took a major step by confining itself to the premium segment of smartphones. These flagship Pixel smartphones offer gripping photography experience but in spite of that, the company has had a tough time selling them. To abate this, Google announced a much affordable Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL yesterday at the Google I/O keynote and the duo offers the same Pixel photography experience at a much lower price. At the same time, the tech giant is possibly testing other form factors to beef up its smartphone business and might already be testing a foldable smartphone. Interestingly, however, it denies any plans to launch the smartphone anytime soon.
Mario Queiroz, Google’s VP overseeing the development of the Pixel smartphones, recently shared in an interview that Google is working on different prototypes for a foldable smartphone for a long time. But, he says that the company is yet to discover a use case for foldable smartphones, compelling enough to make the shape actually desirable for customers. For now, foldable devices are only suited for users looking for bigger screens without a significant increase in the size of the smartphone but that may not add sufficient momentum for the company to start producing smartphones in this form factor.
“We’re prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies, and have no related product announcements to make at this time,” Queiroz told CNET, highlighting that Google is currently focussing on the Pixel 3a series.
Foldable smartphones are starting to move from the concept to the commercial stage with smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Huawei Mate X being exhibited by manufacturers. We may have had to wait longer than expected for the Galaxy Fold due to the unexpected breaking of units, but the category can be expected to get decent traction this year. Meanwhile, Motorola is also believed to be preparing the revival of its “Razr” series with its vertically foldable smartphone.
For Google and its patrons, foldable phones appear to be a far sight for now – at least as long as it recovers from the pressure from its peers in the premium segment.