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The Pixel Fold is set to launch in May … with a bad surprise

The saga of Google’s first foldable phone and its pricing keeps getting more bewildering 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 kicks off.

Prosser adds that preorders will begin the same day, while carrier and retail partners will begin accepting registrations starting May 30. Market release, on the other hand, will reportedly commence nearly a month later on June 27. The latest leak aligns with previous reporting from WinFuture, which also predicted a similar launch window for Google’s highly anticipated foldable phone.

Google Pixel Fold

Announcement: May 10
Pre-order from Google Store: May 10
Pre-order from partners / carriers: May 30
Available: June 27

— jon prosser (@jon_prosser) April 17, 2023

However, it’s the rumored pricing that keeps sending eager enthusiasts into a tizzy. Prosser claims that the Pixel Fold will start at $1,799, which again falls in line with previous leaks. However, another leaker had predicted a few weeks ago that Google would sell its maiden foldable phone in a much lower price bracket of $1,300 to $1,500 a pop.

Now, it goes without saying that you should regard these leaks with some skepticism. Google’s track record with smartphone pricing has also been rather unpredictable in the past few years. 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 won’t be surprising if Google pulls off a similar stunt with the Pixel Fold. But foldable phones are a whole different ballgame, both in terms of engineering challenges and component costs. Even the likes of Samsung stumbled for a few generations before striking the right balance between quality and costs — it now confidently asks around $1,800 for the hardware.

Leaked image of the Google Pixel Fold.
Google Pixel Fold render @OnLeaks

Google’s Pixel endeavors have been a mixed bag, at best. Despite all its promise, Pixel hardware gives buyers a certain degree of headache for a few months before Google’s team can narrow down the plethora of issues and optimize the whole kit with corrective software updates. This is true even of the most recent Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

Foldables only amp up 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 that we have seen so far, the only standout aspect about the Pixel Fold appears to be its stout frame, which appears to take inspiration from the Oppo Find N2.

I have high hopes for the Pixel Fold, as it not only opens the foldable phone market for Google, but will also serve as the template for the best Android experience on large-screen devices. Either way, the stakes are high, and Google won’t want to fumble on its first attempt. Getting the price right — and not asking $1,800 for a folding phone — would be a great start.

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