Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices and Services, Google
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Google will launch its first foldable smartphone sometime in June, challenging market leader Samsung foldable phones, according to internal communications seen by CNBC. It plans to announce the device at its annual developer conference, Google I/O, on May 10.
According to the documents, the Pixel Fold, known internally by the codename “Felix,” will have “the most durable hinge in a foldable phone.” It will cost upwards of $1,700 and compete with the $1,799 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Google plans to market the Pixel Fold as waterproof and pocket-sized, with an external screen measuring 5.8 inches wide, according to the documents. Images seen by CNBC show that the phone will open like a book to reveal a tiny 7.6-inch tablet-sized screen, about the same size as the screen on Samsung’s competitor. Weighing in at 10 ounces, it’s slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it has a larger battery that Google says will last 24 hours, or up to 72 hours in low power mode.
The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s Tensor G2 chip, according to the documentation. This is the same processor that was launched in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones last year.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
While the hardware is a small part of Google’s revenue, the Pixel Fold is the most expensive phone in the company’s Google Pixel family. Google is working on software, including Android and its app store Google Play, for third-party devices made by companies like Samsung, the current leader in the foldable phone market.
The Pixel Fold will give Google an opportunity to show what the entire Google-made foldable phone experience looks like. For example, other Pixels have exclusive features that are not available on all Android phones, such as image editing options that are powered by the Tensor processor.
The launch comes amid questions about Google and Samsung’s relationship. Earlier this week, Alphabet shares fell more than 3.5% on Monday after a Times report said that Samsung is considering changing its default search engine from Google to Microsoft’s Bing for its line of smartphones, which brings in an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue for the company. Google.
The Alphabet-owned company will offer incentives to try to convince people to switch to the Pixel Fold, according to the documents. For example, Google plans to offer the trade-in option to trade in your Pixel, iPhone, or Android phone for a discount on the Pixel Fold. It also plans to offer a free Pixel Watch, the company’s latest smartwatch, to Pixel Fold buyers.
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