According to internal conversations obtained by CNBC, Google will release its first foldable smartphone Pixel Fold sometime in June, taking on Samsung’s market-leading foldable phone company. The tablet will be unveiled on May 10 at Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference.
Based on the docs, the Pixel Fold, internally known as “Felix,” will boast the “most durable hinge on a foldable” phone. It will cost around $1,700 and compete with the $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold4 from Samsung.
Google intends to sell the Pixel Fold as water-resistant and pocket-sized, with an outer screen measuring 5.8 inches wide. According to photos obtained by CNBC, the phone would open like a book to expose a tiny tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen, the same size as Samsung’s rival. It weighs 10 ounces, making it significantly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4. It has a bigger battery that Google claims will last 24 hours or up to 72 hours in low power mode.
The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s Tensor G2 processor. That’s the same chipset that debuted in last year’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones.
A Costly Alternative
While hardware accounts for a minor portion of Google’s earnings, the Pixel Fold is the most costly phone in the company’s Pixel lineup. Google has been developing software for third-party devices created by businesses such as Samsung, the current folding phone market leader, including Android and its app store Google Play.
The Pixel Fold will allow Google to demonstrate what a completely Google-made foldable phone experience looks like. Other Pixels, for example, offer proprietary capabilities that aren’t available on other Android phones, such as Tensor-powered picture editing tools.
The announcement comes amid concerns about Google and Samsung’s relationship. Alphabet shares tumbled more than 3.5% on Monday after a Times article stated Samsung is considering switching its default search engine from Google to Microsoft’s Bing for its smartphone portfolio. The Samsung partnership generates an estimated $3 billion in yearly income for Google.
According to the docs, the Alphabet-owned firm will give incentives to entice consumers to convert to the its foldable phone. Google, for example, intends to provide a trade-in option. Users may exchange a current Pixel, iPhone, or Android-powered phone for a discount on the Pixel Fold. It also intends to give Pixel Fold owners a free Pixel Watch, the company’s newest wearable.