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What happened to the Google Pixel Fold?

Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Waqar Khan)

Google went off the rails at I/O 2022 by unveiling a slew of upcoming Pixel devices all the way to 2023, but its long-rumored Pixel Fold was nowhere to be seen — where is it?

We got the exciting announcement of the $449 Pixel 6a and Pixel Buds Pro set to arrive on July 21, a surprise tease of the Google Pixel 7 expected to arrive later this year, and even a Pixel Tablet announcement for 2023. Many weren't expecting a complete roadmap of upcoming hardware from Google, but it was more than welcome. Perhaps more unusual is the absence of a certain foldable phone, seeing as it's been tipped to launch for a while.

At the start of May, notable display analyst Ross Young offered more details about the Google foldable, stating it would have a similar-sized display as the rumored Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. Even going so far as to say it would have a smaller 5.8-inch cover display compared to the Fold 4's 6.19-inch display. He also states that it will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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Well, considering Google itself has showcased details of devices set to arrive at the end of 2022 and in early 2023, there's reason to be suspicious about this launch window.

This isn't the first time a release date has been announced by outside sources, as a report from The Elec last year suggested the Fold would arrive by the end of 2021 or early 2022. What's more, other display industry insiders stated the Pixel 6 and Pixel Fold would fall in the same time period: the fourth quarter of 2021. That didn't happen.

Last year, tipster Yogesh Brar claimed the Pixel Fold had been delayed, with sources stating there is no launch period set for the foldable yet. Now, we're seeing Young say that "Google's foldable Pixel will start panel production in Q3'22 and launch in Q4'22," even though Google didn't give us a sneak peek at its big event. The Pixel Fold is in limbo.

There has been alleged evidence of a foldable device in the works, though. As previously reported, Google's first foldable remerged thanks to new animations spotted in the Android 12L Beta 2. 

Google Pixel Fold alleged sim animation

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

The beta shows distinct animations showcasing how to insert a SIM card into a foldable device when open and closed, with Google's signature logo at the center of the smartphone. This is similar to the animation shown when setting up other Pixel devices such as the Pixel 6.

As reported by 9to5google, the animation also makes reference to one of the Pixel Fold's alleged codenames: "Pipit." Previously, Google's foldable had been referred to as "Passport," but has recently been known as Pipit as shown in a leaked Geekbench listing. Of course, it's always a good idea to take this in with a pinch of salt, as Google may ditch these animations altogether. And again, there's a reason Google did not include its foldable in its I/O 2022 keynote.

Despite rumors claiming to know a lot about the Pixel Fold, we have yet to know anything concrete about the mystery foldable. Where in the world is it, and will it even see the light of day? It's like the Nintendo Switch Pro all over again, but at least there's still a flicker of hope Google will surprise us all and deliver the foldable in late 2022. After all, the tech giant surprised us with its hardware announcements, so perhaps a foldable surprise isn't out of the question. 

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.