The saga of Google’s first foldable phone and its price is getting more sinister as the launch date inches closer. Leaker Jon Prosser has shared on Twitter that the Pixel Fold will be announced on May 10 – the day Google’s annual I/O 2023 developer conference begins.
Prosser says pre-orders will begin that day, while carrier and retail partners will begin accepting registrations May 30. On the other hand, the market release will reportedly begin almost a month later on June 27. The latest leak aligns with previous reporting. WinFuture, which also predicted a similar launch window for Google’s much-anticipated foldable phone.
However, it is the rumored price that continues to mystify curious enthusiasts. Prosser claims that the Pixel Fold will start at $1,799, which is again in line with previous leaks. However, another leaker predicted a few weeks ago that Google would sell its first foldable phone in a much lower price bracket of $1,300 to $1,500 a pop.
Now, it goes without saying that you should view these leaks with some skepticism. Google’s track record with smartphone pricing over the years has also been unpredictable. The company switched into the right gear with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 series, pushing its flagships into a cost category where it managed to undercut Apple, Samsung and even OnePlus.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Google pulls a similar stunt with the Pixel Fold. But foldable phones are an entirely different ballgame, both in terms of engineering challenges and component costs. Samsung’s choice also faltered for a couple of generations before striking the right balance between quality and cost – now it confidently asks for hardware around $ 1,800.
Google’s Pixel efforts have been a mixed bag at best. Despite all its promise, the Pixel gives hardware buyers a handful of headaches for a few months before Google’s team can nail down the plethora of issues and optimize the whole kit with corrective software updates. This is also true for the latest Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.
Foldables only increase the level of complexity, which is why demanding a price tag as high as $1,800 won’t do Google any favors. From the leaks we’ve seen so far, the only standout aspect about the Pixel Fold is its thick frame, which appears to draw inspiration from the Oppo Find N2.
I have high hopes for the Pixel Fold, as it not only opens up the foldable phone market for Google, but will also serve as a template for the best Android experience on large-screen devices. Either way, the stakes are high, and Google wouldn’t want to miss out on its first try. Getting the price right — and not asking $1,800 for a folding phone — would be a great start.