Add Google’s name to the list of companies investigating flexible-screen phones. The head of development for the Pixel line says his team is at the prototype stage.
Apple is also experimenting with this tech, while companies like Samsung and Huawei are moving ahead with production models. Or at least they are trying to.
An eventual folding Google Pixel? Maybe
Google has been considering a foldable Pixel for years. The company’s Pixel chief Mario Queiroz said “We’re definitely prototyping the technology,” in an interview with Cnet, “I don’t think there’s a clear use case yet.”
The Google executive says that a folding phone needs to offer more than just a larger screen. “The use case is going to need to be something where you go, ‘Hey, I definitely need to have this.’ Right now, you don’t need to have a foldable. It’s kind of a ‘nice-to-have.'”
It’s not clear what that means for a possible future folding Pixel. Queiroz didn’t promise that one would ever be released.
The state of folding phones
Samsung tried to be the first with an mass-market foldable phone, but problems forced it to delay the launch of the Galaxy Fold after pre-orders had already started.
Still, even this managed to show the potential for phones with flexible displays. Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal wrote “I was really enjoying the foldable-phone life. I saw the future, and I liked it.”
Huawei still intends to introduce its folding Android later this year, despite Samsung’s difficulties.
Like Google, Apple appears to be investigating this tech. It recently received a patent for a hinge design in a bendable handset. Still, the company iisn’t expected to release a foldable iPhone until 2020 at the earliest.