Google explains why its second foldable never saw the light of day

Frontside view of the Google Pixel Fold sitting on a table
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A Google employee details why Google's second foldable phone got scrapped.
  • Ivy Ross said "discipline" was required to "hold back" on something that wasn't good enough.
  • If Google does create another, the company could opt for a clamshell foldable possibly dubbed the "Pixel Flip."

In another reality, consumers could have gotten their hands on a second Google foldable phone. Apparently, the Mountain View company had it on their agenda to craft a second foldable phone. However, according to an employee's details in a recent Made By Google podcast, things went awry (via Android Authority).

Ivy Ross, Google's head of design for hardware products stated, "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." 

She then added, "So, it’s really a testimony to the fact that we’re able to do that and recognize when something isn’t good enough."

The comments came after the podcast was on the topic of the Pixel Fold and how the device needed to "work in a couple of different stages." The Pixel Fold can be set in a table-top mode for watching videos and more but its UI would need to shift to either half of the screen. For example, a user watching YouTube will find their video on the top half and the content's description box, comments, and more beneath that.

It's not entirely clear what that second foldable Google phone would've looked like. Although, we wouldn't be mad if it ended up being a Pixel Flip. Last year, Samsung touted its foldable sales and made note of how its most popular foldable was the clamshell folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 3. The past-gen foldable accounted for 70% of the Galaxy foldable series' sales in 2021.

Again, a report from 2022 stated the Galaxy Z Flip 4 accounted for 47% of Samsung's total foldable shares with the Fold coming in at 28%. Anshel Sag, a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy told us in an interview, "... I think users simply understand the utility of a Flip more than a Fold, even though both have strengths and weaknesses."

However, all isn't (completely) lost as Google could have simply stored away those "Pixel Flip" designs for now. A leaked Google Pixel roadmap detailed the company's plans for devices through 2025 and among those rumors is the possibility of a clamshell foldable.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.