Rick Osterloh is Senior Vice President of Devices and Services at Google
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According to internal communications seen by CNBC, Google will launch its first foldable smartphone in June, challenging Samsung’s market-leading foldable phone business. Google plans to announce the device on May 10 at its annual developer conference, Google I/O.
The Pixel Fold, codenamed “Felix” locally, will have “the most durable hinge on a foldable phone,” according to the documents. It’s priced at $1,700 and will compete with Samsung’s $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold 4.
According to the documents, Google plans to market the Pixel Fold as water-resistant and pocket-sized with a 5.8-inch outdoor screen. The photos, seen by CNBC, show a small tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen that opens like a book, the same size as Samsung’s competitor’s display. It weighs 10oz, slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it has a bigger battery that Google says can last up to 24 hours or 72 hours in low power mode.
According to the documents, Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s Tensor G2 chip. It’s the same processor that was introduced in last year’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment.
Although 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 foldable phone market leader.
The Pixel Fold will give Google a chance to show off what a foldable phone experience made entirely by Google could look like. Other Pixels have exclusive features not found on all Android phones, such as photo editing options powered by the Tensor app.
The release comes amid questions about Google and Samsung’s relationship. Earlier this week, Alphabet shares fell more than 3.5% on Monday after the Times reported that Samsung was considering switching its default search engine from Google to Microsoft’s Bing for its line of smartphones, which generates $3 billion in annual revenue for Google.
The Alphabet-owned company will offer incentives in an attempt to convince people to switch to the Pixel Fold, according to the documents. For example, Google plans to offer a trade-in option to get a discount on the Pixel Fold on a current Pixel, iPhone, or Android-powered phone. The company also plans to offer free Pixel Watch, the company’s latest smartwatch, to buyers of the Pixel Fold.