However, thanks to a fresh report out of South Korea we've just discovered that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is going to face some really fierce competition when it does launch, as a series of rival folding phones are also being unveiled later this year, too. And one of those devices is a foldable phone from Google, which has been previously dubbed by the media the "Google Pixel Fold".
The revealing report comes from TheElec (opens in new tab), which states that:
"Samsung Display will begin production of foldable OLED panels for customers Google, Vivo and Xiaomi in October. The three companies are planning to unveil their respective foldable phones in the fourth quarter this year."
And, specifically on the Google Pixel Fold, the report states that:
"Google is preparing a foldable phone with a 7.6-inch in-folding display panel. The phone has been dubbed “Pixel Fold” by the media."
What's interesting about this report is the detail that it is Samsung itself who is producing the foldable OLED screens for its rivals. The fact that it is doing so in of itself isn't odd, as Samsung has a long-running and well-regarded display production business and has made smartphone screens for rivals for years now, but the fact that they are foldable screens seems to indicate Samsung is ahead of the game here.
And especially because Samsung will be making foldable screens for two Chinese smartphones brands in Vivo and Xiaomi, the latter who has already released a folding phone in restricted territories this year in the form of the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold.
The Google Pixel Fold information is the most juicy, though, and especially because it tallies perfectly with an earlier leak (opens in new tab) that indicated the Pixel Fold would be unveiled in "Q4 2021". Combined these two reports point to firstly the foldable Pixel being real and, secondly, that it looks set to be revealed this year, mere months after the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 does.
We will likely see the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 launch at a Samsung Unpacked event in August, with the phone most likely hitting store shelves later that month or in early September. Now, considering that this report states that production of the rival folding phone screens will begin in October, that indicates to us that while the phones may be announced in early Q4, we might have to wait until really late this year or potentially even into early 2022 to get our hands on them.
When users will actually be able to hold the Pixel Fold and other rival folding devices in their hands right now remains unclear, but what is clear is that the industry seems to be heading into a second major folding phone generation, and one where more makers than ever before are going to be offering a folding phone experience.
And, from our perspective here at T3, that can only be a good thing. We'll keep our fingers crossed then that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, Google Pixel Fold and others will deliver the goods. The big question is though, of course, is if anyone can actually challenge Samsung at its own folding phone game, which right now it is dominating with devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.
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