Google has reportedly pulled the plugs on its foldable Pixel smartphone as the company is said to have realized that the device won’t be as competitive as it wants it to be. Rumours of a foldable Pixel-series smartphone have been making rounds on the internet for a while. And with the introduction of Android 12L, a version tailor-made for dual-screen and foldable devices, it was believed that the company might finally get serious about its very own foldable smartphone.
Just over a week ago, the code of the Google Camera app unearthed the mention of a 2022 Pixel Fold. More specifically, details of one of the cameras were associated with the term ‘Folded,’ which led many to believe that this particular sensor would only be used when the phone was in a folded state. However, there was also speculation that the term might refer to a periscope-style telephoto zoom camera, which is also known as a folded lens system because it uses a prism to bend light falling on the camera sensor.
However, it appears that all those Pixel Fold speculations must now be put to rest. As per Ross Young from supply-chain analysis firm DSCC. Google has decided to cancel its foldable phone project. “Our sources indicated that Google believed the product wouldn’t be as competitive as it needed to be,” says the report. Google reportedly had the impression that the odds would be against its foldable phone as it goes up against established names like Samsung in a very niche market with a high-cost product in its hands. Assuming that the report is accurate, Google appears to have made a reasonable decision. The first foldable outing for OEMs hasn’t been a smooth one. The first-gen Samsung Galaxy Fold and Moto Razr are the best examples of experimental hardware failing miserably, especially when it comes to the durability aspect.
Foldable phones are fragile, and it took companies like Samsung with all its billions and engineering wizards some time to figure out the foldable display technology and the durability issues that come with an open-hinge design. Just over a month ago, Young claimed that the foldable Pixel smartphone would make its way to the market in the fourth quarter of 2021, but that doesn’t appear to be happening anymore. Young claims that the company has canceled orders for parts that would go inside its foldable phone. Google has been toying with the foldable idea since 2019 and was rumored to be working on a foldable phone under the codename ‘Passport.’
The code of Google’s camera app also hinted that the foldable device wouldn’t borrow its camera hardware from the Pixel 6 series. Instead, it was apparently going to use the Pixel 5’s imaging system. Not much was known about the allegedly doomed project’s design, but many were hoping that Google’s foldable would marry great software with capable hardware to deliver the signature Pixel experience in a foldable form factor. But given Google’s tiny smartphone market share and its overall strategy with the Pixel lineup, it was also unlikely that the company would gamble with a product with high chances of failure. However, the information from supply chain sources is comparatively more reliable than wannabe leaksters on Twitter. It is advisable to process this ‘sad’ news with the proverbial pinch of salt.