New Report Lends Credence to Rumors of Foldable Google Pixel Phone Launching This Year

With more and more Android smartphone vendors coming out with their take on the foldable phone concept, and Apple rumors swirling about a possible future foldable iPhone, Google appears keen to get in on the act as soon as this year with its first foldable Pixel device.

Pixel Fold

MacRumors concept render

According to a new report by The Elec, Samsung is in the process of developing in-folding foldable OLED panels to supply to Oppo, Xiaomi, and Google. The panels are said to be destined for use in devices to be launched later in 2021, and Google has reportedly requested Samsung Display develop a foldable OLED panel around 7.6-inches in size.

Documents leaked in August last year suggested Google plans to release a foldable pixel phone in the fourth quarter of 2021. Google confirmed in 2019 that it is developing technology that could be used in foldable devices, although at the time the company played down the prospect of actually launching a foldable, saying it didn't see "a clear use case yet."

That said, Google develops the software that has to run on all Android foldable devices, which would put it at a distinct advantage when it comes to foldable hardware-software integration.

Today's report adds further support to the prospect of a Google foldable, which will use the now more commonly preferred in-folding design, demonstrated most recently by the Xiaomi Mate X2, whose predecessor was out-folding by comparison. According to Xiaomi, advances in hinge technology and materials used in the Mate X2 allow for a seamless fold without a gap and eliminate the problem of display creasing.

Samsung was first to launch a consumer foldable device, but the 2019 Galaxy Fold suffered from major design issues including display creasing and panel breakages along the hinge due to the ingress of debris and other issues.

Thanks to lessons learned from the design of the Fold, Samsung improved the design and eventually brought the Fold back to market. The company has since released foldable flip phones - most recently the clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip.

Market research firm Omdia expects foldable OLED sales to reach US$2.1 billion this year, a 203% increase from 2020. Most of the sales are expected to come through foldable panels made by Samsung Display, and while Apple appears to have not made a firm decision on whether it will launch a foldable smartphone, previous rumors have suggested that Apple has requested foldable display samples from Samsung for testing purposes in a future ‌iPhone‌.

Samsung has historically been a key supplier to Apple, providing the OLED screens for iPhones. The company intends to dominate the foldable display market as a supplier, and was considering a move to step up production to 10 million units a year depending on demand.

Apple has been known to be working on foldable display technology for some time, filing multiple patents regarding the technology, and rumors have also floated around LG's potential involvement.

The repeated insinuation of Samsung's involvement and orders being placed by Apple offers a more concrete suggestion that work on a foldable ‌‌iPhone‌‌ is continuing at pace, with some rumors suggesting a release as early as 2023.

Top Rated Comments

ninethirty Avatar
19 months ago
If foldable phones aren't the biggest solution in search of a problem I've ever seen, I don't know what is.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DanTSX Avatar
19 months ago
Nobody will do foldables well until Apple does them. Everyone will complain about foldables being a gimmick up until that point. Then they will suddenly reverse opinion once Apple does a foldable.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
19 months ago

Well now that Samsung have successfully released their Z flip, and now Google are jumping in the bandwagon, Apple need to follow suit with their own improved version ASAP.
I’m afraid to see the price of Apple’s version. I know it will likely be quality but whew. Maybe they should wait another year or two. Lol.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marshall73 Avatar
19 months ago

what is this obsession. who wants this? awkward square size. fragile overpriced phone
This is why :D


Attachment Image
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
snipr125 Avatar
19 months ago
Members are saying that a foldable iphone is a solution looking for a problem, but if something the size of a (thick) credit card that fits in your pocket, but can then fold open to a 6.5" screen, then isn't this a solution to a problem?!? i.e Largest possible screen size in a very, very compact form factor.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Optheduim Avatar
19 months ago
I am ITCHING for clamshell style iPhone.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iPhone 14 Hole Punch Feature

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Feature Under-Screen Face ID System From Samsung

Tuesday March 22, 2022 7:38 pm PDT by
Samsung Display is developing new under-panel camera technology that Apple plans to use to hide Face ID under the display on next year's tentatively named "iPhone 15 Pro" models, according to sources cited by Korean website The Elec. While rumors suggest that this year's "iPhone 14 Pro" models will feature both a "hole-punch" and a pill-shaped cutout for the front camera and Face ID...
OLED iPad Air

Apple Could Release OLED iPad With Samsung Display Panel in 2024

Monday January 10, 2022 6:28 pm PST by
Apple might release an iPad with an OLED display provided by Samsung in 2024, according to a report from The Elec. Samsung is developing the necessary equipment to create the OLED panels that Apple wants for its iPads, but Apple will need to make a big enough order to make the project financially viable. The Elec says that Apple and Samsung were working together to create a 10.86-inch OLED...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

Apple Likely to Use Samsung's Tandem OLED Displays for Future iPads and Macs

Thursday March 3, 2022 3:43 am PST by
Samsung has begun developing more advanced OLED panels that should meet Apple's requirements for use in future iPads and Macs, according to a new report from The Elec. Previous reports have suggested Apple intends to release an iPad with an OLED display provided by Samsung in 2024, but Apple is seeking OLED panels for larger displays that have a "two-stack tandem structure," which have two...
oppo x rollable

Samsung Rumored to Launch First 'Rollable' Foldable Phone Later This Year

Thursday March 24, 2022 5:54 am PDT by
Samsung will add a third foldable device to its smartphone lineup this year that will likely feature a unique rollable form factor, according to a reliable leaker of Samsung's plans. Oppo X 2021 rollable phone concept The existing Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 have been relatively successful additions to Samsung's smartphone family, and the company reportedly plans to ship over 10...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple AR/VR Headset Again Rumored to Feature Micro OLED Displays While Samsung Readies 'Hologram' AR Device Competitor

Thursday February 24, 2022 6:28 am PST by
Apple's mixed-reality headset has again been rumored to feature advanced micro OLED displays, Korea's ET News reports. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Micro-OLED displays are built directly on to chip wafers rather than a glass substrate, which results in displays that are thinner, smaller, and more power efficient. They allow for pixel sizes in the range of...
Foldable iPhone 2023 Feature Yellow

Kuo: Apple to Launch 8-Inch Foldable iPhone in 2023

Sunday May 2, 2021 8:43 pm PDT by
Apple is working to launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Based on our latest industry survey, we forecast that Apple will likely launch a foldable iPhone with an 8-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display in 2023, with SDC as the exclusive display supplier and Samsung Foundry...
apple ar headset concept 1

Samsung Falling Behind Apple in AR/VR Space Due to 'Obsession' With Foldable Smartphones

Wednesday January 19, 2022 5:47 am PST by
Samsung is significantly falling behind in the rush to bring augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices to market, partially due to the company's "obsession" with foldable smartphones, The Korea Herald reports. Apple mixed-reality headset concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Samsung's main competitors, including Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and Sony, are...
Pixel Fold

Google 'Pixel Fold' to Use Ultra-Thin Glass, Still on Track for 2021 Release

Wednesday July 14, 2021 4:09 am PDT by
Google's designs on its first foldable Pixel phone appear to have ramped up a notch, with the company said to be tapping Samsung to supply ultra-thin glass (UTG) layers for an infolding 7.6-inch device that could launch this year. MacRumors concept render According to a new report from The Elec, Google is just one of several mobile makers seeking to secure UTG orders from Samsung, which is...

Popular Stories

cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone X and the iPhone XS. Battery percent...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
ipad pro magic keyboard white

Rumor Claims Next iPad Pro to Feature New Four-Pin Smart Connector

Sunday August 7, 2022 11:57 am PDT by
A new rumor claims that the next-generation 12.9-inch and 11-inch iPad Pro will feature a new four-pin Smart Connector, an update from the current three-pin connector in the iPad Pro. The rumor from Mac Otakara, citing "reliable sources," says that the next iPad Pro, expected to debut possibly as soon as this fall, will feature a new Smart Connector that has four-pins rather than three. The...