Samsung this week said that it would postpone commercial launch of its Galaxy Fold smartphone following various issues uncovered by reviewers. The company, which intended to start sales of the Galaxy Fold on April 26, will announce the new release date in the coming weeks, so do not expect Samsung’s foldable smartphone to hit the market shortly.

Analysts and journalists who had received samples of the Galaxy Fold have reportedly run into a variety of problems with their units. The issues that were described were troubles with the hinge system that resulted in screen failures. Other reviewers mistook the top protective layer of the display as a removable screen protector and tried to remove it, also resulting in non-functioning displays.

As the issues were wide-spread with the reviewers and happened just within a few days (hours?) of usage, it's something that most likely would have affected end-users as well.

Samsung says that it had found sources of the problems and would take measures to improve the display protection. Since design changes, additional tests, and logistics will take time, Samsung does not have a firm launch date at the moment. Meanwhile, the company is confident that it will be in position to offer more details on the matter in the coming weeks.

Samsung’s official statement reads as follows:

Samsung to Postpone the Launch of the Galaxy Fold

We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold.

While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.

To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.

Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.

We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. 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.

We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding.

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Sources: Samsung, Mobile World Live

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  • eastcoast_pete - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Could you post the link to the patent or the patents you're referring to? Thanks!
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    I can't find the diagram I recall, but this is close, 2013:
  • eastcoast_pete - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    As the old Country song goes "You have to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em..". Samsung rushed this out the door to beat Huawei to the punch, but the bleeding edge is called that for a reason. Why they would ship them without at least a few weeks of real-life testing is beyond me. I also wonder if making a thicker device (just a few mm) would alleviate the enormous mechanical stress in the hinge region enough to avoid the material fatigue these units developed.
  • Gunbuster - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Ever wonder why we don't still have those squishy plastic topped touchscreens from the bygone palm-pilot and winmo days? Ever wonder if Ford is going to offer plastic windows on their SUV's?

    No, because the better material for it is GLASS.
  • Tams80 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    Glass at the moment isn't very flexible though. It's also, no matter the recipe, rather shatter prone.
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    That's the trade off. Market forces clearly changed us from plastic topped screens to glass in 99.9% of devices that face a harsh on the person duty cycle. A folding phone is a solution out in search of a problem.
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    "A folding phone is a solution out in search of a problem."

    au contraire. a sturdy clamshell protects the screen better than some clear plastic sheet.

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