After months of rumors and leaks, the Google Pixel Fold went official at I/O 2023. The company's first foldable is due to hit retail stores in June, and despite the high $1,800 price tag, there's a noticeable buzz around it. Now, in a new episode of the Made by Google podcast, Ivy Ross, Google's head of design for hardware products, revealed the company was working on another foldable model.
There were rumors of Google working on multiple foldable devices at one point, but leaks have only surfaced about the Pixel Fold. Turns out, that's because Ivy Ross and his team decided not to go ahead with the first foldable as its design was not good enough. Instead of launching a half-baked product, Ross' team chose to wait until they could make something on-par or better than the competition.
Below is what Ross revealed about the canceled first iteration of the Pixel Fold on the podcast:
I’m really proud of the team because there was another foldable model that we had created, that we had the discipline to hold back and say ‘nope, it’s not good enough yet,’ and really wait until we felt like we could do something that was good enough or better than what was out there already.
If this rumor from January 2022 is anything to go by, the canceled foldable was apparently codenamed "Pipit" and was slated to feature the Tensor GS101 chip. This device was seemingly slated to launch alongside Android 12L, which was optimized for big-screen devices and foldables, but that obviously never happened.
It will be interesting to see what response the Pixel Fold receives once it is on sale and Samsung's 2023 foldables are unveiled. The latter should pack newer internals but Google could give them a run for their money from an experience viewpoint.
You can catch the latest Made by Google podcast here. In the episode, Google's industrial design team discusses Pixel's design evolution. You can hear Ross talk about the canceled foldable around the 17-minute mark.