Google has confirmed that the internet giant will release a foldable smartphone. A short video released yesterday shows a phone that folds open into a tablet.

Initially, there were no details about the device called Pixel Fold. However, reference was made to May 10, when the Google I/O developer conference takes place at the headquarters in Mountain View.

So far, Samsung has been particularly strong in the foldable phone business. The South Korean smartphone market leader has two models on offer: one that folds open to the size of a tablet, the other is more compact and unfolds as big as a regular phone.

Niche segment of the smartphone market?

Chinese suppliers have also presented foldable smartphones in recent years. But Huawei, for example, was stopped in international business by US sanctions – and devices from other providers are also available in rather small numbers, especially in the home market of China.

The US broadcaster CNBC reported in April that Google’s smartphone called Pixel Fold will have a 7.6-inch display when unfolded. It would be the same size as the competitor Samsung Fold. When folded, you will be able to use the 5.8-inch screen on the outside.

In recent years, Google has expanded support for folding smartphones with the Android operating system that the group is developing. However, market researchers assume that the devices will remain a niche segment of the smartphone market in the coming years. The analysis company IDC expects sales to jump by 50 percent to 21.4 million folding phones this year. Overall, however, more than 1.2 billion smartphones are likely to be sold. For the year 2027, market researchers expect sales of a good 48 million foldable smartphones – that would still be a small share of the total market of 1.37 billion.