Google Pixel Fold, the company’s first foldable phone, will launch in June

Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

According to internal announcements from CNBC, Google will launch its first foldable smartphone sometime in June, challenging Samsung’s market-leading foldable phone business. It plans to unveil the device at its annual Google I/O developer conference on May 10.

The Pixel Fold, known internally by the codename “Felix,” will have the “strongest hinge on a foldable” phone, according to the documents. It will start at $1,700 and compete with Samsung’s $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Google plans to market the Pixel Fold as waterproof and pocket-sized, with an outer screen measuring 5.8 inches in diameter, according to the docs. Photos viewed by CNBC show the phone opens like a book to reveal a small, tablet-sized 7.6-inch screen, which is the same size as Samsung’s competitor’s display. It weighs 10 ounces, making it slightly heavier than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, but it has a larger battery that Google says lasts 24 hours, or up to 72 hours on sleep mode.

The Pixel Fold is powered by Google’s Tensor G2 chip, according to the documents. That’s the same processor that launched in the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones last year.

A Google spokesman declined to comment.

While hardware accounts for only a small portion of Google’s sales, the Pixel Fold is the most expensive phone in the company’s Google Pixel family. Google has been working on the software, including Android and its Google Play app store, for third-party devices made by companies like Samsung, the current leader in folding phones.

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The Pixel Fold gives Google the opportunity to show what a foldable phone experience designed entirely by Google is like. For example, other Pixels have exclusive features that are not available on all Android phones, such as B. Photo editing options powered by the Tensor processor.

The launch comes amid questions about the relationship between Google and Samsung. Earlier this week, Alphabet shares fell more than 3.5% on Monday after a report from The Times said Samsung is reportedly considering changing its default search engine from Google to Microsoft’s Bing for its line of smartphones, giving Google a estimated annual sales of $3 billion.

The Alphabet-owned company will offer incentives to convince people to switch to Pixel Fold, according to the documentation. For example, Google plans to offer a trade-in option to trade in a current Pixel, iPhone or Android phone for a discount on the Pixel Fold. There are also plans to offer Pixel Fold buyers a free Pixel Watch, the company’s latest smartwatch.