With more and more Android smartphone vendors pitching their take on the foldable phone concept, and Apple’s rumors about a possible future foldable iPhone, Google seems eager to get involved as early as this year with its first foldable Pixel device.
Render of the MacRumors concept
According to a new report from The Elec, Samsung is in the process of developing foldable foldable OLED panels to supply to Oppo, Xiaomi and Google. The panels are said to be intended for use in devices to be released later in 2021, and Google has reportedly requested Samsung Display to develop a foldable OLED panel approximately 7.6 inches in size.
Documents leaked in August last year suggested that Google plans to launch a foldable pixel phone in the fourth quarter of 2021. Google confirmed in 2019 that it is developing technology that could be used in foldable devices, although the company downplayed the importance at the time. perspective actually released a foldable, saying it still didn’t see “a clear use case.”
That said, Google does develop software that should run on all foldable Android devices, which would put it at a distinct advantage when it comes to foldable hardware and software integration.
Today’s report adds further support for the perspective of a Google folding, which will use the now more commonly preferred folding folding design, most recently demonstrated by the Xiaomi Mate X2, whose predecessor was folding in comparison. According to Xiaomi, advances in hinge technology and materials used in the Mate X2 allow for a perfect fold without gaps and eliminate the problem of wrinkles on the screen.
Samsung was the first to launch a consumer folding device, but the 2019 Galaxy Fold suffered from significant design issues, such as screen wrinkles and panel breaks along the hinge due to ingress of debris and other issues.
Thanks to the lessons learned from the design of the Fold, Samsung improved the design and finally brought the Fold to market. Since then, the company has launched folding flip phones, most recently the clamshell-style Galaxy Z Flip.
Market research firm Omdia expects foldable OLED sales to reach $ 2.1 billion this year, an increase of 203% over 2020. Most sales are expected to come from foldable panels made by Samsung Display, and although Apple seems not to have made a firm decision. On whether it will launch a foldable smartphone, previous rumors have suggested that Apple has requested folding screen samples from Samsung for testing on a future iPhone.
Samsung has historically been a key supplier to Apple, providing OLED displays for iPhones. The company intends to dominate the folding display market as a supplier and was considering a move to increase production to 10 million units a year, depending on demand.
Apple is known to be working on folding screen technology for some time, filing multiple patents regarding the technology, and rumors have also circulated about LG’s possible involvement.
The repeated hint of Samsung’s involvement and orders from Apple offers a more concrete suggestion that work on a foldable iPhone is continuing at a pace, with some rumors suggesting a launch as early as 2023.