Google’s first foldable Pixel phone still tipped for 2021 release

There’s mounting evidence that Google will launch its first foldable smartphone later this year. A new report by TheElec claims that Samsung will begin production of foldable OLED panels for Google, Vivo and Xiaomi’s folding phones in October.

The ‘Google Pixel Fold’, as it’s been dubbed by tech analysts, is expected to feature a 7.6-inch folding panel. It’s tipped to launch in the ‘fourth quarter’ of 2021, which fits in nicely with today’s leak. 

TheElec doesn’t reveal any detailed specs, but Google’s folding phone isn’t exactly top secret. “We’re definitely prototyping [folding phone] technology. We’ve been doing it for a long time,” said Mario Queiroz, Google’s Pixel development lead, in 2019

Last February, we reported on rumours that Google was prepping a folding version of its upcoming Pixel 6 phone. A previous Korean report, spotted by BGR, tipped Samsung to supply a 7.6-inch display. 

The pieces of the puzzle certainly seem to fit, but there is still no news on whether Google will opt for a clamshell-style ‘flip’ design, or a true ‘folding’ design that would open and close like a paperback.

As for Samsung, the tech giant is something of a veteran of the folding phone market having already released a second-generation version of its Galaxy Z Flip (pictured above). Indeed, Samsung is tipped to launch two new foldable phones of its own this year.

Apple is said to be working on a folding iPhone with a “mostly invisible” hinge, too. And, assuming today’s report by TheElec is correct, Chinese brands Xiaomi and Vivo are also readying their first folding phones. 

Not convinced that ‘folders’ are the future? Google is expected to launch its flagship Pixel 6 later this year. As we reported last month, the latest Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro renders reveal a radical new design. 

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