In wake of negative reviews, Samsung pushes back launch
Commercial and consumer users wanting a folding smartphone will have to wait a little longer as Samsung delays the launch of the Galaxy Fold by at least a month to figure out a solution to its display design problems.
The Lowdown: Samsung was going to release its first folding smartphone on April 26, and started accepting pre-orders for the nearly $2,000 device more than a week ago. Several technology reviewers and analysts given early units reported the folding displays break rather easily with normal use. Some reviewers mistakenly removed what appeared to be protective film, causing damage to the interior folding screen. The negative reports are causing Samsung to rethink the launch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Details: When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Fold at its annual product launch event in San Francisco last February, the start-of-the-day announcement — the new Galaxy S10 smartphone — was overshadowed. People attending the event marveled at the three-screen Galaxy Fold, which opens to a 7-inch display that’s only slightly smaller than some mini-tablets. Samsung calls the Galaxy Fold a luxury device, given its high price tag. However, Samsung’s channel team says the device has many commercial applications that will make it relevant to B2B buyers and users.
The Impact: The stream of steady reports of screens breaking and malfunctions left a black eye on Samsung, which is trying to spark another growth spurt in the struggling smartphone segment. The financial impact on Samsung is likely minimal, as it was planning to sell only 1 million devices in 2019 — a fraction of its overall smartphone sales. However, the reputational damage is potentially much higher, with the news eroding user confidence in high-price mobile devices.