Foldable phones have steadily grown in popularity, but haven’t really proven themselves in the mainstream space yet. Now, Ross Young, managing director of industry body Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC), has share preview of an upcoming report from the company – claiming a whole bunch of activity in the foldable device space. Among the major takeaways is the long-awaited Google foldable phone, which Young says is currently actively in the works and could launch by the end of 2022.
Google Pixel Fold and more: What to expect
According to Young, the Google Pixel foldable phone will see production of its display panel begin in Q3 2022, leading to a potential launch by the end of the year. Other industry reports have corroborated similar information, suggesting that Google is preparing to add more features to adapt Android to foldable devices. The company said in I/O 2018 that it would work to include support for foldable smartphones in Android, and recent reports have suggested such code is in the Android 13 developer beta.
The foldable Pixel phone is also expected to cost around $1,400 (about Rs 1.05 lakh). While it’s a far cry from the kind of affordable pricing that can bring the devices to the mainstream market, it’s still cheaper than Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Z Fold smartphone. It could further mean that more foldable phones at lower prices could launch next year, with the Pixel Fold serving as something of a benchmark.
DSCC’s Young also said that other foldable smartphones to be launched this year could include a second such device from Oppo, two foldable phones from Vivo and a new one from Xiaomi. Oppo recently unveiled its Find N, which seeks to make the foldable phone hinges stronger and the crease along its crease less obvious. However, while reviewers hailed it for a premium feel, the short, chunky build didn’t exactly make it a big upgrade in terms of real-world use.
Young also said the DSCC’s next report on foldable devices may include details on what Apple thinks about foldable phones. Previous reports, including projections given by Young himself, have suggested that a foldable iPhone may not hit the market until at least 2023 – and more realistically in 2024. It will be interesting to see if the next DSCC report could hold another surprise. .
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