Samsung delays the Fold indefinitely
Update: Samsung says the Fold will be coming out in September 2019!
To the utter dismay of its customers, Samsung has confirmed the reports that it is delaying the release of its $2,000 Galaxy Fold foldable phone only days before it was originally scheduled to go on sale. Pacifying the customers, the company said “We want our customers to have the best experience possible which is why, after initial feedback, we have decided to delay the release of the category-changing Galaxy Fold to make sure it measures up to the high standards we know you expect from us.We plan to announce the [new] release date in the coming weeks.”
A day ago, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Fold release is shelved until sometime in May at the earliest, but Samsung is giving itself lots of elbow room with its non-committal timeframe. In an email to customers who have already preordered the Fold, the company said that they will be notified with a revised update on shipping details in two weeks. US carriers AT&T and T-Mobile are also scheduled to carry the premium device.
The decision came after several review units failed in swift succession due to issues in their displays, questioning the durability of Galaxy Fold. Some units broke after the puzzling “protective layer” was mistakenly pulled off the screen. Unfortunately,in some instances, the Fold failed just after a day or two of use. There are even reports of debris making its way into the hinge and underneath the inside display. This is in turn affected the display performance.
Samsung has reassured that the company will take steps to strengthen display protection. It may require restructuring of the hardware itself. This hints that Samsung may take some time to release the Fold again- maybe summer or even autumn. Will it be able to hit markets before the Galaxy Note 10? This can only be known once Samsung makes announcement a couple weeks from now. “Your preorder guarantees your place in the queue for this innovative technology,” Samsung told customers.
Samsung also addressed the other point of controversy in its statement on Monday: that weird protective layer. “We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold,” the company said.
Samsung had previously confirmed that it would include written precautions with the Fold informing the customers not to remove the layer, similar to a traditional screen protector. T-Mobile’s retail version of the now-delayed device had a sticker right on the screen itself.
Though disappointing to consumers who had already placed an order for Samsung’s innovative phone, this delay is certainly the right move. Samsung would have to face numerous issues if the product was shipped, specially the damage to the reputation of the whole series of mobile phones with folding screens — if the extremely high starting cost wasn’t already enough to deter consumers.
However, it is surprising how Samsung allowed the phones with severe design faults to get so close to hit the shelves. In the future, Samsung needs to be extra careful as such mistakes may reverse the situation unfavorably.