Prior to Google I/O 2022, there were some slight hopes that Google might finally show off their first foldable smartphone, which they have been working on for quite some time now. However, the event passed by with Google making some hardware announcements but staying clear of mentioning the much-awaited foldable device.
The silence on the company’s end is now being explained by two independent sources, who have relayed that the foldable’s launch has been pushed back to 2023 as the tech giant is not overly content with the phone’s current design.
The first source is serial leaker Ross Young, the CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) who tweeted the information, while the other is Korean industry site The Lec which also goes into more details as to why the phone’s release has been pushed backwards.
People familiar with the inner workings at Google reported to The Lec that the postponement most likely comes down to the product not being as complete as Google wishes.
The foldable would have used a panel provided by Samsung which was expected to have a 7.57-inch main screen and a 5.78-inch secondary screen as well as an ultra-thin glass cover.
It is worth noting that at the moment, Samsung is the only company capable of manufacturing foldable OLED panels, and with the expected release of the next generation of the Galaxy Z series, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 sometime this year, the demand for their panels will only go upwards.
Taking into consideration the increasing demand for foldable phones, Samsung is expecting to ship around 15 million units of the new foldables, which is more than double the 7.1 million units that they shipped for the previous Galaxy Z series devices.
Nexplus who are hinges manufacturers had also confirmed to The Lec that they were preparing to ship hinges for a 7.57-inch foldable screen which would have presumably been used on the Google foldable.
When rumours first surfaced about the Google foldable last year, which we covered here, there were two design languages that the company was considering: the “Jumbojack” which resembles the Galaxy Z Fold design and the “Passport” which resembles the Galaxy Z Flip.
With the company now pushing the launch into 2023, there is the risk of the foldable smartphone being outshone by foldables from other OEMs including Samsung, who already have the experience of manufacturing three generations of this kind of phone factor.
What Google has as an advantage is the Tensor chip, which the foldable device might rock the second generation of, and top tier camera performance that makes Pixel devices so popular.
Whether these factors are enough to make the Google smartphone a success in 2023 is a matter of waiting and seeing. However, there is also the risk that the tech giant might decide to scrap the project altogether, as they have done numerous times with other products and services in the past.
Featured image courtesy: @WaqarKhanHD on Twitter