galaxy fold

Samsung delays Galaxy Fold release after reviewers complain about display issues

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Samsung has delayed the launch of its Galaxy Fold smartphone after reviewers complained that early units had a raft of issues related to the foldable screen.

Samsung’s latest smartphone has generated a fair amount of buzz due its unique form factor, which is around the size of a chunky smartphone when closed but opens up to become a tablet-sized device.

However, last week, the durability of the devices came into question following reports that the screens were malfunctioning after a matter of days.

Some of the issues were caused after reviewers removed what they thought was a screen protector, which turned out to be a key component of the device - something that wasn’t made clear initially.

Others reported problems with the hinge that seemed to be causing display issues, despite Samsung’s claims that the Fold can withstand being opened and closed 200,000 times, or 100 times a day for five years.

It was not immediately clear how many of the devices were defective. Four units sent to journalists and a YouTube personality contained problems, according to their posts on Twitter.

Samsung said it has delayed the retail launch device for an unspecified period beyond the planned 26 April 2019 release date.

“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,” a Samsung spokesperson said.

Samsung has also postponed media events for the device planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

While Samsung has not said how long the delay could be or whether production of the unit has halted completely, some analysts said the delay was minor compared to the massive recall and production halt that the company endured with its Galaxy Note 7 in 2016.

“It’s certainly an embarrassment to Samsung’s reputation, but this won’t have much financial impact on them since they created a whole new category of foldables with this product. There is no market share to lose,” said Patrick Moorhead, founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, who added that his test version of the phone was working without any issues.

Wayne Lam, an analyst with IHS Markit, predicted the issue would likely be resolved within a month. “We all know that Samsung has a technology that works. It’s likely that this glitch is a problem with mass production and the failure is just in the single-digit percentage,” he said.

Rob Baillie, mobile comms expert at Comparemymobile.com, blamed the delay on hot competition with Huawei, which has also announced a foldable smartphone set for release in the coming months. 

“It would seem the brand is now being punished for being in too much of a hurry to beat Huawei to the punch,” he said.

“While Huawei may well be greeting this news with joy and celebrations, as will other manufacturers working on their own foldable devices, the news will also be giving the company food for thought.

“Having seen the problems Samsung has had with the new handsets, Huawei may well consider delaying its own launch as well, giving itself more time to ensure that their own folding phone is flawless and will not break and cause them the same embarrassment Samsung has experienced.”

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