Samsung and Google seem to have had a rocky relationship over the years. As Samsung grew larger and larger, eventually becoming the largest Android manufacturer in the world, it began to grow less and less reliant on Google’s services.
Sure, Samsung’s phones run Android, but Samsung decided to use their own Tizen OS as opposed to Wear OS on their watches. And picking up a new Galaxy smartphone usually means being met with two versions of essentially the same app by both companies.
Heck, Samsung even has its own Galaxy Store for apps. But Things seem to be changing though. 2021 marks the year when Samsung and Google are working closer than ever. Samsung is helping Google on a number of things that include merging the Tizen OS with wearOS to make Android smartwatches great again.
Samsung is also helping Google to make its first-ever chipset that will go inside the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Not only that the Google discover feed as well as Google messages are being integrated into Samsung’s One UI software, Samsung is also integrating Google Nest products into its SmartThings ecosystem and many more. And all of this happened in 2021.
And if you were wondering that this relationship wouldn’t get any deeper then think again because Samsung is also helping Google to make their first foldable smartphone. A brand new report from Korea says that Google is one of the various Android device makers that are looking to launch foldable phones by the end of the year.
Samsung Display will mass-produce the OLED panels that Google will use for the Pixel Fold. And not just the foldable panels, Samsung will also provide ultra-thin glass to Google. This film is applied on top of the display for added durability.
None of the current foldable phones by other OEMs have Ultra-thin glass including Huawei’s Mate X2 which many consider is one of the best foldable smartphones right now. So the Pixel Fold or whatever Google ends up calling their foldable phone will offer the same durability that Samsung’s top-of-the-line foldable phones offer.
The Korean report says that the Pixel Fold will have a 7.6″ main display that folds inwards and Google will launch the handset in Quarter 4 of 2021.
Interestingly, the display analyst Ross Young says that Google isn’t just working on a foldable phone but they will launch a rollable smartphone as well. But tells not to expect the handset to be launched this year.
And not just Google, China-based manufacturers, such as Xiaomi and Oppo, are also joining the competition with foldable phones this year, which is great for the industry as it will allow the component prices to go down since production will go up and as a result, the prices of foldable phones will come down which we might see happen with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 that is expected to cost 20% cheaper than its predecessor.
Now coming back to Google, they have left a comment online that confirms the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will have their own silicon as the source code mentions Whitechapel and GS101 which are the codenames for Google silicon. Also, there was confusion as to what graphics Google would use for their chipset. Turns out, it’s Mali GPU the same one that Samsung uses for the Galaxy S21 lineup.
Now it’s not clear whether Google will opt for a 14 core GPU like Samsung or a 24 core Mali G78 GPU like Huawei. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.