For a while it was looking like Samsung might have some major foldable phone competition this year, with its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 having the Google Pixel Fold to compete with, but now that looks unlikely to be the case.
According to The Elec, Google has delayed the launch of the Pixel Fold. Apparently, the company had planned to launch it in the fourth quarter of this year, so a delay presumably means it won’t land until 2023, but the report doesn’t get that specific.
The site claims that according to “people familiar with the matter” the delay is simply down to the Pixel Fold “not being as complete as Google wishes.”
It’s not really clear what they mean by that, but with a foldable phone essentially being a whole new product type, complete with tricky aspects – notably the foldable screen itself, and the hinge – it’s likely that some part of the device isn’t as polished as Google would like.
Samsung’s current lead in the foldable market is partially down to a willingness to release unpolished products in the first couple of generations, but it seems like Google isn’t willing to do that, and with more competition than Samsung had when it entered the market, that’s probably a wise choice.
Still, this is just one source claiming that the Google Pixel Fold has been delayed, so there’s still a chance that we’ll see it this year.
Analysis: we saw this coming
While we’d take this delay claim with a pinch of salt, it’s very believable, in fact it’s something that we recently predicted.
During Google IO 2022, the company seemingly either announced or teased just about everything it has planned for the year, including distant products like the Google Pixel 7. In fact, the company even gave a first look at the Pixel Tablet – a slate that won’t be launched before 2023.
Yet the Pixel Fold was nowhere to be seen, which led to the obvious conclusion that this foldable phone is a long way from launch. So if you want a foldable this year, Samsung’s upcoming offerings are likely to be the best options.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.