Foldable phone race heats up as Google enters the fold


We’ve gone through a rollercoaster ride when it comes to foldable phones this year. Huawei and Samsung released their foldables the Mate X and the Galaxy Fold. Last month, the latter was involved in controversy after reviewers found their units breaking down (both in terms of hardware and software). Samsung eventually postponed the launch.

Now, according to a report by CNET, Google is working on a device for this new form factor. Mario Queiroz, who leads the Pixel team at Google, told the publication that the company is experimenting with a foldable phone:

We’re prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies, and have no related product announcements to make at this time.

This is quite exciting for a couple of reasons. First, Google can learn from the mistakes of big-ticket hardware makers like Samsung, and make a solid phone. Sure, the company’s track record with Pixel’s hardware quality hasn’t been top-notch. But, building for this form factor is a completely different game altogether. Plus, the company can fast track updates for the phone to make it a smooth sailor.

Second, Google is responsible for APIs that will shape software behavior on foldable phones. Last year, the company announced that Android will officially support the form factor. With a hardware device by their side, it can demonstrate correctly how apps should behave on these devices.

A patent filed by the company in March, pointed towards a clamshell form factor for a foldable phone. But we can’t say for sure if that’s going to be the final design. I can’t wait to see what Google brings to the fold.

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Published May 13, 2019 — 11:20 UTC




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