A leaked internal Google document suggests the company has reserved the fourth quarter of next year for the release of a foldable Google Pixel phone, 9to5Google reports. The device, codenamed ‘Passport’, is explicitly called ‘foldable’ and will be added to a list of all Pixel devices dating back to Pixel 2 of 2017.
In addition to the foldable Pixel, the document also lists a “low end mid year device” called the Pixel 5A with a “Q2 2021” release date, and two other devices codenamed “Raven” and “Oriole” for “Q4 2021”. 9to5Google speculates that this could be Pixel 6 models. Finally, there are the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5, which Google announced alongside the Pixel 4A earlier this week. Officially, these devices will launch in the fall, but the document suggests they could arrive in October, in line with a separate report from 9to5Google.
It should come as no surprise that Google is working on a foldable Pixel device. Last year, it confirmed that it was prototyping the technology ahead of its annual I / O developer conference. When Google Pixel’s development led Mario Queiroz, it tempered expectations by saying the company had been working on the technology “ for a long time ” and added that it didn’t think there was “ a clear use case ” for foldable devices yet. However, according to this document, it seems that Google has plans to go beyond prototyping and use the delicate technology in a consumer device.
As 9to5Google notes that the leaked document mainly relates to the development of Android for these different devices, and does not reflect the final plans of the hardware team. With a year and a half to go until release, the schedule is almost certainly subject to change. But even if the release date shifts, it still suggests Google plans to release a foldable device itself.
Google announced native support for foldable devices in Android in November 2018, ahead of Samsung’s first unveiling of the original Galaxy Fold.