Google, which entered the market for foldable smartphones earlier this month, initially stated that it was developing two distinct foldable models, but subsequently abandoned one of them due to quality issues.
In a recent episode of the Made By Google podcast, Ivy Ross, vice president and director of design for hardware products at the Alphabet-owned company, confirmed this information.
“I’m really proud of the team because we had previously created another foldable model, but we had the discipline to hold back and say ‘nope, it’s not good enough yet’ and really wait until we felt we could do something that was good enough or better than what was already available,” Ms. Ross said.
Therefore, it is a testimony… to the fact that we are capable of doing so and recognizing when something is lacking.”
Google introduced its first foldable smartphone, the Pixel Fold, during the Google I/O conference
The notebook-style smartphone, which costs $1,799, features a 7.6-inch interior display and a 5.8-inch cover screen.
The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s Tensor G2 processor and has a familiar smartphone form factor that fits in the palm of the hand when folded, but extends into a wide screen for business users.
Google expects to begin distributing the device to consumers within the next month.
Ms. Ross did not disclose the nature of Google’s abandoned foldable smartphone project.
However, industry sources indicated that it was a budget-friendly clamshell-style foldable phone that could easily fit in the palm of one’s hand, and that Google aimed to attract youthful consumers with the device.
Foldables: a glimmer of hope in a waning market
According to International Data Corporation, the smartphone market will decline by more than 11 percent in 2022, with foldable phones being the only bright spot.
The researcher forecasts that foldable phone shipments will reach 21,4 million units this year, an increase of more than 50 percent annually.
Moreover, they are anticipated to reach 48,1 million units in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of 27.6% between 2022 and 2027.
The IDC anticipates a decline in the average selling price of foldable smartphones, a trend that will eventually attract more consumers.
In 2022, the market expanded by 75.5% as a result of a 10% decline in average sales price.