Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Rumor says Google’s Pixel Fold release date might be delayed

Published Aug 20th, 2021 9:53PM EDT
Pixel Fold Delay
Image: Waqar Khan

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Google confirmed most of the Pixel 6 rumors when it unveiled the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in early August. The company showed off the new designs of the two phones and listed some of the most important specs. Among them was the revelation that Google has been working on a custom Tensor System-on-Chip (SoC) that will debut in the Pixel 6 series. But Google didn’t say anything about the third Pixel device that’s reportedly coming this year. That’s the oft-rumored Pixel Fold that might become one of the most exciting foldables on the market. Now, a new report claims that the Pixel Fold launch could be delayed, although Google might still tease it during the upcoming Pixel 6 press conference.

Pixel 6 specs

The Pixel 6 announcement a few weeks ago confirmed the idea that Google is getting serious about phones. Again. The bold phone redesign and high-end features reaffirm Google’s commitment to making a great iPhone alternative of its own.

It’s not just the Tensor SoC that’s exciting. The Pixel 6 series will have Google’s first triple-lens camera. The OLED screens will support 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates. And the fingerprint sensor sits under the display. Google has confirmed all these features already. On top of that, rumors say the Pixel 6 will feature faster battery charging tech, topping out at 33W.

Whether it’s delayed or not, the Pixel Fold will probably share some of these high-end features.

Google’s big bet on offering buyers a retail store experience like Apple also underscores the importance of the Pixel phone line. There’s no flagship product as exciting as a Pixel in Google’s lineup. And Google needs flagships to convince people to visit its retail stores. The Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel Fold would certainly do the trick.

Google Pixel 6 Main
Google’s Pixel 6 phones in various color options. Image source: Google

The exciting Pixel Fold rumors

It’s not just the Pixel 6 reveal that makes the Pixel Fold so interesting. Recent reports said that Samsung will sell some of the key components it developed for foldable devices to vendors like Google. That includes foldable OLED panels and the second-gen Ultra Thin Glass. These are technologies that power the Galaxy Fold 3 and Flip 3 unveiled last week.

Code in Android 12 indicates that Samsung could also provide additional components to the Pixel Fold, including the primary camera sensor and the 5G modem. Add to that Google’s unique position to customize Android for a foldable device, and the first-gen Pixel Fold becomes a compelling proposition. Samsung’s hardware upgrades would ensure the Pixel Fold doesn’t have the same durability issues as other first-gen foldables.

Pixel Fold delay

There are no guarantees that Google will pull off the Pixel Fold in 2021. Insiders said earlier this year that Google is among the companies launching new foldable handsets in the second half of the year. But Google might face other issues that could lead to launch delays.

The same 91mobiles blog that relayed the 33W battery charging speed rumor says Google’s Pixel Fold might be released later than others are reporting. Sources inside Google supposedly told a leaker that the foldable project had been delayed. There’s no launch timeline for the Pixel Fold, but Google might still offer fans a preview during the Pixel 6 launch event this fall.

It’s unclear what would cause the Pixel Fold delay. Factors like the current chip shortage might impact Google’s supply chain. That’s the reason why the Pixel 5a got a limited launch this year. Also, reports said recently that Google will mass-produce the Pixel 6 in China to prevent pandemic-related delays.

The Pixel 6 launch event in early October might shed more light on the Pixel Fold. Aside from Google’s foldable phone, other smartphone vendors should release new foldable handsets featuring Samsung parts later this year.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.