The Google Pixel Fold, the long-rumored bendable phone, is reportedly kicked off the search engine giant's roadmap. Citing supply chain sources, display analyst and respected leaker Ross Young tweeted that Google canceled orders for Pixel Fold components.
According to previous reports, the Pixel Fold was poised to have an early 2022 release with a late 2021 sneak peek. Young can't say for certain whether the foldable is canceled for good, but asserts that the Pixel Fold won't see the light of day this year nor 2022.
Bad news for those waiting for the Google Pixel Fold. We hear they have canceled parts orders and decided not to bring it to market as indicated in the latest DSCC Weekly Review. See blog excerpt at https://t.co/EVmWKcgi2c. @DisplaySupply pic.twitter.com/2P5lFW09PtNovember 15, 2021
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Google reportedly can't compete with Samsung in the foldable market
The foldable market is awash with bendy, flippy devices with praiseworthy hardware, but frustration-inducing software (e.g. the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold and the Microsoft Surface Duo 2). One of the brands that knocks it out of the park with its foldables is Samsung with its well-received Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 phones — and Google reportedly admitted that it can't beat the South Korean company.
"[Google] likely figured that competiting against Samsung in the US and Europe in a small niche market facing higher costs than their primary competitor would stack the odds against this project," Young said.
Aside from its 120Hz display, the Pixel Fold's specs are allegedly disappointing, especially its cameras. Leaks reveal that the Pixel Fold is a step down from the Pixel 6 series, only offering two rear cameras and a 12.2MP primary wide-angle lens. As such, if the Pixel Fold can't compete with its own previous-generation phones, Google may be questioning whether it can survive the cutthroat foldable market where Samsung currently reigns supreme.
As mentioned, Young reported that the Pixel Fold won't be making an appearance next year, but that doesn't mean Google won't be revisiting it in the far future. Google may go back to the drawing board to determine how it can launch a compelling device that doesn't get pushed into the shadows as Samsung basks in the limelight.
Google may want to keep in mind, though, that Samsung may not be its only rival. As we reported in September, Apple is reportedly working on launching foldable iPhones in 2023.