Samsung delayed the launch of its folding smartphone after trouble with handsets sent to reviewers. Some reviewers, who got their hands on the Galaxy Fold early, reported problems with screens breaking. It plans to announce a new release date for the Galaxy Fold in the coming weeks.
The South Korean consumer electronics giant said the initially reported problems showed they could be “associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge.”
In one instance found unspecified “substances” inside a Galaxy Fold smartphone with a troubling display. The company said,
“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.”
A handful of US-based reporters received the flagship Galaxy Fold phones ahead of the model’s official release. They reported screen issues within days of using the devices.
Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, priced at $1,980. It is part of the leading smartphone maker’s strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.
The company essentially gave reviewers a “beta product” without enough information. It included not peeling off a protective coating meant to be permanent. This is according to independent technology analyst Rob Enderle.
The failure of a “halo product” meant to showcase innovation and quality could tarnish the brand and send buyers to rivals. Enderle said,
“It was all avoidable for a company the size of Samsung. If a halo product fails, people don’t trust that you build quality stuff.
“It can do incredible damage. And Huawei is moving up like a rocket, so this could be good for Huawei.”
Testing folding phones in a lab is a much different scenario than challenging them “in the wild.” There, they need to endure pockets, handbags, greasy food, spilt coffee and more.
Samsung also needs to convey how folding screens warrant more careful handling than the stiff displays smartphone users are more accustomed to.
This slight delay in the launch of the Galaxy Fold may not be a major setback for Samsung. The model is unlikely to be a big driver of sales given its price and the fact that services or apps are still being adapted to the new type of smartphone.
Samsung smartphones tuned to work with super-speedy fifth-generation telecommunications networks are more important to the company’s bottom line on the near horizon.
Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker. Earlier this month, the company launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device. This product might just make a difference for Samsung this year.
Adding to Samsung woes
Despite the recent announcements about its new high-end devices, Samsung has warned of a more than 60 per cent plunge in first-quarter operating profit in the face of weakening markets.
The firm is also no stranger to device issues.
Its reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016. That cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.
Samsung originally planned to release the Galaxy Fold as scheduled on 26th April 2019.
Samsung’s device was not the first folding handset. Yet, many expected the smartphone giant to help spark demand and potentially revive a sector that has been struggling for new innovations. Startup Royole and Chinese-based Huawei also introduced other folding devices.
Samsung Electronics is the flagship subsidiary of Samsung Group. It is, by far, the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate business in the world’s 11th-largest economy. It is also crucial to South Korea’s economic health. The company has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including the jailing of its de facto chief.