Google isn't ready to sell us a foldable phone just yet because it's thinking what a number of people are: there's just no good use for one — at least for now, anyways. But the company stands ready to continue research and develop on concepts as it has publicly admitted to prototyping foldables.

In a conversation with CNET, Pixel hardware team lead Mario Queiroz said that the company has been prototyping the form factor for "a long time," but has found no compelling purpose to bring a product to market, calling it a "nice-to-have" thing.

"We're prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies, and have no related product announcements to make at this time," Queiroz said in a later statement.

There's no clear indication as to how far along Google's hardware work has gone and with such a high-cost, high-risk product, things can easily and spectacularly go wrong. Just ask Samsung. But developers on the Android side have had to break a sweat to adopt new interfaces for foldables — Huawei and a fair few others are eager to jump on board.

Between now and whenever a Google folding phone happens (if it does at all), the company is hoping that the mid-range Pixel 3a and 3a XL will raise revenues for the hardware division after a particularly soft quarter for its Pixel smartphones this winter.