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Google unveils $1,800 Pixel Fold smartphone to take aim at rival Samsung


Google entered the folding smartphone market, taking aim at rival Samsung, by unveiled its first-ever Pixel Fold on Wednesday.

The device morphs from a 5.8-inch phone into a 7.6-inch tablet with a flexible screen and hinge — enabling a wider view for playing video games, watching movies, and running apps.

The Pixel Fold includes five cameras — three of them on the back —
and is priced at $1,799.

It runs on the same Tensor G2 chip that powers Google’s line of Pixel 7 smartphones and has two OLED panels with 120Hz refresh rates.

Google is hoping the Pixel Fold will lure away customers of the Samsung Z Fold 4.

Samsung held a 62% market share in foldable smartphones in the first half of 2022, followed by Huawei at 16% and Oppo at 3%.

Google also disclosed plans to infuse its dominant search engine with more advanced artificial-intelligence technology, a drive that’s in response to one of the biggest threats to its long-established position as the internet’s main gateway.

The gradual shift in how Google’s search engine runs is rolling out three months after Microsoft’s Bing search engine started to tap into technology similar to that which powers the artificially intelligent chatbot ChatGPT, which has created one of Silicon Valley’s biggest buzzes since Apple released the first iPhone 16 years ago.


Google unveiled its first-ever Pixel Fold, the $1,799 device that was made available for pre-orders immediately.
AP

Google, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., already has been testing its own conversational chatbot called Bard.

That product, powered by technology called generative AI that also fuels ChatGPT, has only been available to people accepted from a waitlist.

But Google announced Wednesday that Bard will be available to all comers in more than 180 countries and more languages beyond English.

Bard’s multilingual expansion will begin with Japanese and Korean before adding about 40 more languages.


Pixel Fold, which runs on the same Tensor G2 chip that powers Google's line of Pixel 7 smartphones, has two OLED panels with 120Hz refresh rates.
Pixel Fold, which runs on the same Tensor G2 chip that powers Google’s line of Pixel 7 smartphones, has two OLED panels with 120Hz refresh rates.
AP

Now Google is ready to test the AI waters with its search engine, which has been synonymous with finding things on the internet for the past 20 years and serves as the pillar of a digital advertising empire that generated more than $220 billion in revenue last year.

“We are at an exciting inflection point,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told a packed developers conference in a speech peppered with one AI reference after another.

“We are reimagining all our products, including search.”

More AI technology will be coming to Google’s Gmail with a “Help Me Write” option that will produce lengthy replies to emails in seconds, and a tool for photos called “Magic Editor” that will automatically doctor pictures.


Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed plans to infuse its dominant search engine with more advanced artificial-intelligence technology.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed plans to infuse its dominant search engine with more advanced artificial-intelligence technology.
Getty Images

The AI transition will begin cautiously with the search engine that serves as Google’s crown jewel.

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