Russian bloggers seem to be gushing forth a torrent of Pixel 3 leaks right now, with multiple sites and tipsters in the region posting hands-on pictures, specs, features, and details of the third-gen Pixels.
However, amongst the details highlighted, one particular source claims to have some additional insider information. Mobile-Review says that the new Pixel 3 phones are only two of SEVEN in-development Pixel devices Google has on the drawing board. Of the remaining five, four remain a mystery, but one of them is said to be a folding and flexible phone planned for launch in 2020.
If it is indeed a folding and flexible handset, then it can only be an OLED display device in a similar vein to the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy F, as well as rumoured offerings by LG, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Huawei.
Motorola, owned by Chinese firm Lenovo, is also said to be making a new RAZR clamshell based on folding OLED tech.
The Competition – Samsung Galaxy F
This is interesting, because the Galaxy F is expected next year, while some say Chinese OEMs such as Huawei might beat Samsung to the punch in early 2019 with their own devices. That said, Samsung and LG are miles ahead of everyone else in terms of flexible OLED, having been investing in the tech for nearly a decade now. Samsung in particular is market leader, even supplying the panels to Apple.
LG could even be a supplier to Chinese OEMs, according to some sources.
But while devices with flexbile folding tech are debuting next year, it’s thought the products won’t become truly commercially viable until at least 2020 – hence Google’s plans. Samsung’s Galaxy F is expected to be a small batch, Limited Edition production with a very small distribution and a high price – a testbed, basically, before the firm considers following up with a bigger investment. This is exactly the MO it followed with curved EDGE displays via the Galaxy Note EDGE several years back. Now every Samsung flagship has an EDGE display.
In other words, it’s going to take time, and Google is in no rush. But it is watching the market and is keen to stay in-step with forthcoming trends.