Google is developing its first folding cell phone

Despite the fact that they are expensive and that a clear need for use has not been created, devices with folding screens, capable of offering the usefulness of a cell phone as well as a tablet, continue to be a development of interest to manufacturers. Currently, brands such as Samsung and Huawei already market this type of model, but there is talk that many other brands are working on their own proposal, this is the case of Google that, it is rumored, will launch its   Pixel Fold at the end of 2021. 

Last August it was announced that Google was working on the development of a smartwatch called the Pixel Watch and also on a smartphone model with a folding screen or Pixel Fold. Apparently, the company has given up on the idea of ​​the watch, but the cell phone seems to be on the way.

Korean site TheElec announced that Samsung will begin production of foldable OLED panels in October designed for Google's upcoming foldable phones. Although it is not the only brand that was talked about, Vivo and Xiaomi were also mentioned. All of which will reportedly present their models later this year.

It must be said that Google has not kept its foldable phone ambitions a secret. In 2019, it published patent applications for its own folding displays and admitted that it had been prototyping for quite some time. However, he also told CNET that he did not yet have a clear use case.

But now, it appears that Google even has a code name for its foldable cell phone: Passport, which might be almost ready to announce. The 9to5Google portal even spotted a new reference last month in the Android 12 code, along with other codenames believed to refer to the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a 5G. 

Of course, there are no official details from Google on the characteristics of the Pixel Fold. However, TheElec assured that it will have a single 7.6-inch panel that will fold inward. That will be the average size that will be handled in these teams because the same source said that the next Vivo phone will have an 8-inch main screen and a 6.5-inch external screen. 

Market trend

Other companies that could soon launch their folding cell phone models are Apple and TCL. 

It has long been speculated that the apple brand works on a foldable iPhone. In fact, in May, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors that Apple plans to launch this 8-inch model in 2023, and based on the results of an industry survey the company is estimating to sell between 15 and 20 million euros. units. 

Kuo also revealed a number of details about the foldable iPhone. He assured that Samsung Display will provide the flexible QHD + OLED, while the DDI display controller will come from Samsung Foundry. He also said that Apple will use the silver nanowire touch technology supplied by TPK.

In addition, according to information leaked by a Chinese supplier of the company, it is said that the folding iPhone will have a hinge, almost imperceptible, to offer users a tablet mode and a smartphone mode, in the style of Samsung's Galaxy Fold. 

However, they are just rumors so there is no way to be sure that Apple is really considering launching this option.

One more example of the development of these models is TCL, which in March 2021 gave a preview of its Fold 'n Roll smartphone that will offer users three display options as the flexible panel extends. That is, it offers the 6.87-inch phone version, it can also be the size of an 8.85-inch phablet or fully extended to create a 10-inch tablet. 

However, at the time it was said that the company was still exploring the technical specifications of this type of device, which means that the Fold n 'Roll is still far from being launched on the market. What TCL did confirm is that it has plans to launch a phone with folding technology before the end of 2021 and what is most striking in this case is that it promised that its price will be well below the currently available options. 

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