What Ever Happened to the Samsung Galaxy Fold?

Samsung Galaxy Fold Credit: TechRadar
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Folding displays are relatively new technologies, but they’ve improved substantially over the past few years – and 2019 seemed like it was finally going to be the year of the folding smartphone. But even with the rapid development of technology, the industry’s fast pace can sometimes come with unintended consequences like failure.

Samsung was one of the first companies to announce a folding smartphone, and they seemed to be setting the bar high right out of the gate. The phone was initially unveiled on February 20th of 2019 and was scheduled to be released on April 26th. However, on April 22nd Samsung announced they would be delaying the release of the Galaxy Fold indefinitely while they work out the design flaws that caused major issues with its internal screen.

What Went Wrong?

When creating a device, QA is one of the most important steps. Project managers come up with tests that need to be done to ensure the quality of the product. Then they’ll decide if those tests need to be automated (with computers or robots) or manual (done by humans/reviewed by humans). Samsung posted a video on YouTube of an automated designed to make sure the phone could be folded repeatedly without seeing any issues or wear on the screen and hinge. We haven’t seen any videos of Samsung doing any tests in a real-world environment, however.

Preorders for the device went live on April 15th for $1,980. A pretty penny, and well above the cost of almost all flagship devices. Right after the preorders went live, many popular YouTube reviewers received their test units. However, soon after they started to use the Galaxy Fold, major issues began to occur.

First, a few reviewers notice a thin screen protector-like material on its display. A few of the reviewers removed the material, thinking it was plastic protective wrap. Once that material was removed, the displays would show significant issues. Most notably, the screen would flicker, and in some cases, it looked like the LCD was smashed. Other reviewers started to see large bulges in the display, and it looked as if something was underneath the screen trying to poke it’s way out.

Galaxy Fold Broken Screens

What Happened Next?

When companies send out devices to be reviewed, they often ask the reviewers to send the devices back right after the product’s public launch. In this case, Samsung asked for its Galaxy Folds back suddenly once news spread of the issues people were experiencing. Due to all of these issues, Samsung decided to delay the launch of the phone so that they could prevent another Galaxy 7 type fiasco. April 26th came and went. Since then, preorders have been refunded and Samsung has made many claims that they’re still working the Galaxy Fold, but they haven’t officially announced a new release date yet. Even Huawei announced that they’ll be delaying the release of their foldable phone in order to make sure it meets quality standards and doesn’t run into the same issues as the Galaxy Fold.

Samsung’s CEO Admits Fault

In recent interviews Samsung CEO, DJ Koh has admitted that the Galaxy Fold wasn’t ready for prime time. “It was embarrassing. I pushed it through before it was ready.” He has also stated that they have resolved the issues and are currently testing 2,000 prototypes to make sure that the problems are resolved. Samsung also announced they’ll soon hold an event to debut the Galaxy Note 10. Nothing has been confirmed, but there is a good chance we’ll get an update on the Galaxy Fold’s status at the upcoming event.

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