Just when we thought we had Google’s smartphone roadmap figured out with the imminent launch of the Pixel 8 and rumors around the Pixel 8a, an unexpected twist has surfaced. According to code snippets found within the latest version of the Pixel Buds app, Google may be working on a mysterious new foldable phone codenamed “Comet.” This discovery has led to speculation that Google could be diversifying its foldable phone lineup, introducing something beyond the anticipated Pixel Fold 2.
The Mysterious “Comet” Unearthed
The codename “Comet” was found buried within the Pixel Buds app and has left tech enthusiasts intrigued for several reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t align with the dog breed-themed names of the Pixel 8 series (Shiba, Husky, Akita) or the reptile-related names speculated for the 2024 Pixel 9 flagships (Komodo, Caiman). This suggests that “Comet” is not part of Google’s regular Pixel release cycle.
The code also categorizes “Comet” in the same device group as the Pixel Fold and even refers to it as a “fold.” However, since the Pixel Fold is not expected to receive an update until May 2024, “Comet” is unlikely to be the Pixel Fold 2.
Clamshell Phone: The New Frontier?
9to5Google speculates that “Comet” might be a clamshell phone, a form factor Google has previously expressed interest in. Pixel Product Manager George Hwang hinted that Google was considering different types of foldable form factors. Clamshell or flip phones could be an astute move for Google, given their growing popularity compared to book-style foldable phones.
The Foldable Phone Market Landscape
The foldable phone market has seen growing interest, with Samsung’s Galaxy Flip series leading the pack. Launched in 2020, the Galaxy Flip series is a line of foldable smartphones with a clamshell design. The latest in the series, the Galaxy Z Flip 3, has received favorable reviews for its design, display, and value for money. Google’s Pixel Fold, introduced in June 2023, has been praised for its design, performance, and camera capabilities, but its high price tag of $1,800 has limited its appeal.
Why a Flip Phone Makes Sense for Google
Considering the Pixel Fold’s high price point, a flip phone could offer a more budget-friendly entry into the bendable form factor. It would allow Google to target a broader consumer base, possibly capturing market share from other players in the foldable phone market, like Samsung.
Speculation Awaits Confirmation
At the moment, all eyes are on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, set to be announced on October 4. The unexpected mention of “Comet” has added an additional layer of intrigue to Google’s device lineup. Whether “Comet” turns out to be a new flip phone or something entirely different, it’s clear that Google may have more surprises up its sleeve.
The accidental leak of the codename “Comet” has set the tech community abuzz with speculation. If Google is indeed working on a new clamshell device, it could be a strategic move to capitalize on the growing popularity of foldable phones. As the market awaits the Pixel 8 series, this mysterious “Comet” adds another dimension to Google’s innovation story, leaving us eagerly awaiting its next reveal.