Samsung postpones launch of Galaxy Fold after ‘defective’ display

Samsung Electronics has decided to postpone the global release of the Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone after display issues were uncovered by various tech reviewers.

The announcement came after negative reports by some journalists in the U.S. who peeled off the top layer of the display, a move that could cause the foldable smartphone to malfunction.

The Galaxy Fold, which Samsung introduced in February, was scheduled to be released in the U.S. April 26, May 3 in Europe and mid-May in Korea.

Though Samsung said the top layer is designed to protect the screen and is not meant to be removed, the reviewers said they did so because they were not advised properly and the packaging for reviewers didn’t contain a warning about peeling off the protective layer.

Other problems with the foldable phone display were also exposed. Some reviewers said the screen started flickering even though they didn’t take off the protective layer. Another said the screen on one side began responding faster than the other side.

After the reports, Samsung inspected the Galaxy Fold samples to find the cause of the problems. Accepting the feedback, the firm made the decision to delay the release of the foldable phone.

“To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold,” the firm said in a statement adding it will announce a new release date “in the coming weeks.”

When the issues were initially raised Samsung said the U.S. launch would go ahead as scheduled, but it decided to delay the release in order to assure the quality of the new phone. The company said it will come up with strengthened display protection measures and make sure the warning can be clearly seen by consumers.

“Initial findings from the reported issues with the display showed that they could be associated with impacts 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 firm 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 so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”

The reports also made the firm postpone its media events in Asia. The firm said Monday it will postpone those scheduled for Hong Kong and Shanghai, April 23 and 24 respectively.

Samsung appears to have learned from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco when the firm was hardly hit for its slow response to initial reports of the phones catching fire in 2016. U.S. media outlets gave positive marks to the firm’s agile response, saying its decision to put off the release was “prudent.”

“Considering the fallout surrounding the company’s previous high-profile hardware bust ― 2016’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and its exploding battery ― the decision seems prudent. And while the Galaxy Fold’s botched launch is certainly a black eye for Samsung, it’s one that should quickly fade,” U.S. business magazine Fortune reported.

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