Broken review units throw a wrinkle on Samsung Galaxy Fold launch

Launch plans in the Middle East could be put on hold as early reviewers find Samsung’s new gen device malfunctioning

Tags: Huawei Consumer (consumer.huawei.com/ae-en/)Samsung CorporationSmartphone
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Broken review units throw a wrinkle on Samsung Galaxy Fold launch The Galaxy Fold is Samsung's take on foldable phones.
By  Kevin Sebastian Published  April 23, 2019

Samsung has delayed the launch of the Galaxy Fold indefinitely after widespread reports and impressions from early reviewers saw the phone not working as intended.

While Samsung remained confident, pinning some malfunctions on reviewers who removed a protective layer that was confused to be a screen protector, several reviewers noted their units being damaged without removing the thin layer and chalking it up to a bad hinge. Following a spate of bad reviews, this has put the phone manufacturer on notice with them indefinitely putting launch plans on hold.

The company, in a press release was quoted as saying, “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.”

Samsung also reported "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."

The Galaxy Fold was intended to launch this month on April 23rd in selected markets with no release window for the Middle East. The region has a strong case for having the purchasing power and the willingness for consumers to jump on first generation hardware at launch making it an ideal launch pad for the device.

With this announcement, it looks likely that the Galaxy Fold launching the Middle East could be delayed. Users interested to buy the device will only get a pre-registration screen online on the company’s product page at this time.

The move from Samsung is prudent. The company is no stranger to product fallout, having dealt with a hardware bust in the past in 2016 with their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and their exploding battery. While the events that are unfolding with the Galaxy Fold certainly are a bad look, it’s one that will have minimum impact on the company’s overall image.

The Galaxy S10 has gotten strong reviews across the board and with a diverse consumer line up, the Galaxy Fold is an outlier. Unlike the Note 7 that was already in the hands of consumers, only early review units of the Fold were damaged.

The delay can now help Samsung look into fixing critical components rather than issuing a product recall that would have been both expensive and disastrous for the company. From that perspective, a delayed product launch does certainly look better than a defective product going out considering that the Fold really needs to make a great first impression.

Samsung also have another reason to make sure the $2,000 device sets waves and impressions about foldable phones. Huawei’s first 5G and foldable phone, the Mate X is also set to release later this year in select markets with a slightly higher price tag of $2,607 (Dh9,576) that works both like a phone and tablet just like the Galaxy fold albeit with the screen folding outwards.

With Huawei’s reputation being tested on the international front, their product portfolio is currently their strong suit and the Mate X presents an opportunity for the Chinese manufacturer.

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