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(Pocket-lint) - Evan Blass - one of the phone industry's most reliable leakers - has claimed that a trusted source has confirmed that the Passport - Google's folding Pixel - will launch in 2021.

That rumour has long been in circulation. As far back as August 2020 we have reports of a Q4 2021 launch for a folding phone from Google. We've been tracking these rumours for some time - although we've not seen the sort of leaking we've seen for other Google devices.

We all know that Google is preparing to launch the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, not just because there have been a lot of leaks, but because Google has confirmed quite a lot about these phones already.

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Google has, in recent years, made the unprecedented move of confirming details following substantial leaks. We've seen design leaks where Google has stepped forward and released it's own images, for example, months before launch.

The question is why Google does this? It certainly kills the rumour cycle because it becomes fact, but it also lessens the anticipation of that big reveal somewhat.

But in this case, is Google revealing details about the Pixel 6 early because its hardware event will focus on the Pixel Fold instead?

That would be a great bit of misdirection: lead your followers down the path towards two interesting phones, only to reveal something completely new, the folding Pixel.

This idea might appeal to a lot of people, Google pulling a switch and bait on everyone, but how will Google stop the Passport leaking? Google, as far as we can see, has seen every hardware release leak before the big reveal - so why would a folding phone be any different?

Evan Blass has a good reputation when it comes to revealing details and we've already had a number of pieces of the Passport puzzle show themselves. Certainly, with Google looking at a bold change of direction for the Pixel 6, the anticipation for its folding device (or devices) is going to be high.   

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 20 September 2021.