Google cancels plans for Pixel Fold
Google has cancelled plans to roll out a foldable version of its Pixel phone, according to a report from Digital Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC).
It is understood that Google decided not to bring the Pixel Fold to market this year and isn’t likely to bring it in for the foreseeable future due to the pressure on the supply chain and the global shortage of chipsets.
It’s also possible that Google has taken itself out of the race to produce a foldable phone until it can make a product that competes with Samsung at a similar or the same price point, and that this wouldn’t be possible with current supply challenges, said Ross Young, co-founder and CEO of DSCC.
He added: “Our sources indicated that Google believed the product wouldn’t be as competitive as it needed to be. They likely figured that competing against Samsung in the US and Europe in a small niche market facing higher costs than their primary competitor, would stack the odds against this project.”
Google never officially announced any launch of a foldable phone and information surrounding it is based on insider knowledge, predictions based on previous output or speculation.
In terms of hardware, the Pixel Fold was expected to be the same size as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 with LTPO and variable refresh up to 120Hz, however it’s thought that the phone’s camera would have only matched up to the Pixel 5.
The company also recently announced Android 12L, a version of Android 12 optimised for tablets, foldables, and Chrome OS devices, which it hopes to launch “in time for the next wave of Android 12 tablets and foldable.”
Rather than being a new version of Android, Google describes it as “a special feature drop that makes Android 12 even better on large screens.” The aim is to provide users on tablets, foldables and Chrome OS laptops with an improved user interface, as well as additional multitasking tools. Android 12L should also make app look better on these devices.
The developer preview of Android 12L is reportedly now available for developers who want to give it a try, as well as a new Android 12L emulator and support for it in Android Studio.
Android 12L will also be for phones, Google reported but because the features won’t be noticeable the focus for the tech giant is on other devices, with beta enrolments for Pixel devices launching later in the preview.
In addition to Android 12L, Google has also announced new features in its OS and the Play platform for developers to better support different devices, according to reports.
These include updates to its material design guidance for large-screen devices, but also updates to Android’s modern toolkit for building native UI, Jetpack Compose to make it easier to build for these machines and to ensure that apps can more easily adapt to various screen orientations and sizes.
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