28 August 2020
Details on Google’s upcoming products all the way up to Pixel 5a have surfaced quite early this time. The Pixel 4a has just gone official but we are learning about its successor already and yes Pixel 5 as well. No, there are not many leaks available yet but their appearances on some official places confirm their existence and reveal what new phones Google is developing.
Previously, a code change inside the AOSP confirmed the existence of the Pixel 5a and even Pixel 5 5G and now one more credible location is confirming their existence further. Not only that, but it also confirms Google is working on its first-ever foldable phone.
An internal Android document reviewed by folks at 9to5Google reveals Google is developing Android builds for upcoming Pixel 5a, a foldable Pixel, and possibly two other Pixel phones. The document shows the builds for Android for existing Pixel phones from Pixel 2 and all the way up to the phones which are not yet announced. These include Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a as well.
The document also shows three codenames – “raven,” “oriole,” and “passport.” While the document has not explicitly specified the names of “raven” and “oriole,” it refers “passport” to as being a “foldable.” This gives a good hint that a foldable phone from Google is in development as well. What makes this listing more interesting is the label “Q4 2021,” indicating these three phones will launch in the fourth quarter of next year. The timeframe looks reasonable as Google launches its new generation of Pixel phones in October that falls in the fourth quarter of every year. So, we presume its first foldable phone will launch at the same launch event.
This is not the first time we are hearing or have spotted Google’s plans on foldable phones. In 2019, CNET reported that Google was “working on a foldable Pixel,” though Pixel head said the company is currently “prototyping the technology” and Google had been doing that “for a long time.” At that time, he said, “there’s a clear use case yet,” adding, “Right now, you don’t need to have a foldable. It’s kind of a ‘nice-to-have.’”
Coming back to the document obtained by 9to5Google now, it is also explicitly mentioned that Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 are slated for October. This has now also been confirmed as Google inadvertently listed October 8 launch for both the phones on its website.
As 9to5Google points out that while the document does pose a great hint at the launch of the said phones, its primary purpose is to log Android development. This is something we must note before making any assumptions on the upcoming products from Google as it is highly possible that it may not show Google’s hardware team exact plans.