Google is a company that arguably makes great software and services but its track record in hardware leaves much to be desired. That doesn’t stop it from trying, though, as evidenced by both its Pixel phones as well as its smart speakers and displays, now under the Nest brand. In fact, it often dreams big, like Google Glass or even Google Wing, now both defunct projects, as it experiments with different devices and experiences revolving around its core businesses. Apparently, that also includes a foldable Pixel phone that may still happen at some undetermined point in the future.
The idea of a foldable Pixel isn’t exactly news, with CNET pointing to those rumors way back last year. At the time, Google’s Pixel head casually admitted that the company is indeed experimenting with the form factor but as part of its overall R&D strategy. Back then, it didn’t see any strong use case, much less demand, for a foldable phone even when it was solidly behind Samsung’s efforts with the Galaxy Fold.
An internal document shared with 9to5Google hints that this foldable phone actually still exists, at least as far as Android builds go. In fact, it even has an internal name, “passport”, which won’t be the final codename that people will see in AOSP (Android Open Source Project) builds. Those are usually given fishy names by the time they’re ready to been seen by public eyes.
Not much else is known about this “passport” and Google continued experimentation doesn’t really make any assurance there will be such a product anyway. Given Google’s track record with the Pixel phones, both in development and quality, it might be best for the company to focus on perfect normal phones before jumping on something more eccentric.
After months of delays, the Pixel 4a finally went public this week and received mostly positive feedback. The Pixel 5 might just be a few months away and a 5G Pixel 4a and a Pixel 5a are also believed to be in the works. Suffice it to say, Google has a lot of phones on its plate, enough to keep it busy honing its skills in making its own phones.