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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  • KateH - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    boggles my mind that they thought it would be ok like that. So it looks like it's removable, it *is* in fact removable- and (this is critical) it is *easily removable*- and the device breaks if you remove it.

    And as you said, if it can be trivially peeled off by users, it's definitely going to start to come up on it's own eventually
    Reply
  • FullmetalTitan - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Pre-installed screen protecting films aren't that rare actually. And the deep dives where groups attempted to break the phones all said the film was NOT easily removable, it was quite firmly attached. The breakage was due to the force needed to pull the film off, with uneven distribution of pressure, the screens were breaking before the film was even fully removed. Reply
  • Tams80 - Thursday, April 25, 2019 - link

    I wouldn't say it's easily removable. All the photos by people who have removed it seem to show the protector very mangled. They must have applied obviously excessive force.

    Not that it's a good design in the first place, but some tech reviewers are rather dim.
    Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    Seeing how fragile normal smartphone screens are, any tool could tell this would end in fail.

    Sure its a different 'tech' but really? Give it another two years of development and then try 200 prototypes with staff for 6 months and see how many are still going after that.
    Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    I'm reasonably certain they took whatever prototype phase they were at and declared it to be a shippable product because they got wind that Huawei was about to announce a foldable pocket computer. All so they could claim they were first.
    It worked well initially, with the press gushing over Samsung's "world-first" announcement(beating Huawei by a couple of hours). But now it has blown up in their faces, because it is a product that clearly WASN'T ready to ship.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    I'll repeat: go look up foldable screen patents as I did years ago. You'll find at least one, I've long forgotten whose, that included a diagram of a clamshell/flip-phone. In particular, the 'screen' doesn't fold on a crease, a la a newspaper, but rather with a distinct radius. Why anyone would be stupid enough to do what Samsung did...? Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - link

    As far as I've heard, the Samsung fold display does, in fact, fold to a radius, albeit not a large one. Reply
  • nevcairiel - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Everything folds to a radius, something like a thin newspaper just folds to an extremely narrow radius. Reply
  • nevcairiel - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    The reason this isn't the prefered option is of course that it makes the devices extremely bulky when folded. Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - link

    Seems obvious there should be some slack left in the screen to avoid a crease.. Reply

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