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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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    A launch delay should surprise no one given the nature of the screen Samsung is attempting to mass produce. Best guess is that the folding phone is either not released this year or is released and becomes the first and last of Samsung's folding handsets for the next five plus years do to very high rates of screen failure. I know the company made a claim that the devices were tested for durability, but it should be clear from the high failure rate of the small number of units sent out for review that real world scenarios were never tested or even considered.
  • shabby - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    Did they not test this in the real world? Did they really think those robots perfectly folding it was enough?
  • stanleyipkiss - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    Stop being crones.

    Samsung made the best and most mature decision available to them. A recall and delay prevents stuff like the Note 7 fiasco.
  • vortmax2 - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    Agreed that it was the right decision - they are definitely avoiding a major headache. However, it's curious they didn't run into these use cases in pre-internal or external testing.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    They were likely trying to beat their competitors by being the first to market, but didn't test it thoroughly enough in real world scenarios (since 1000 real folds from a paid human employee takes longer than simulating 1000 folds from a machine that's working 24/7). They got early impressions the longevity wasn't there with initial sampling, and did the mature thing and just delayed the launch to try to work out those problems. It's clear that being the first to market wouldn't be worth permanently soiling the reputation of their brand, of that specific device, or of folding screens in future products.
  • Tams80 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    They were also probably not very keen for it to be out in the open. Some of the technology has already been nicked, and for sure there is demand for more of it.
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    They prob just tested internally and not real world things. A guy that sits at desk all day in Samsung testing device or engineer is not going to get results vs a guy who works at walmart or construction.
  • FullmetalTitan - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Hate to point it out, but neither a Walmart employee, nor a construction worker are within a few standard deviations of the salary distribution from the target audience of this model.
    I agree this was likely a failure in testing methodology, since the reports seem tied to
    1) Dumb reviewers peeling the protective layer off (the failure is from how much force was needed to do this, ending in broken OLED panels
    2) Little to no testing of particle ingress around the hinge assembly and behind the OLED panel
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    While a delay does prevent problems from landing in the lap of consumers, I think the "crones" you're talking would generally agree that even going to the press with the Fold in its current state was an unwise move. Bragging up the testing methods and talking about durability to said press was a self-inflicted wound as it is clear that testing did not identify obvious shortcomings.
  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    That whole screen-protector thing is crazy. I'll bet after a year it would have all sorts of grit and lint slowly peeling up the edges, even if you tried to keep it neat.

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