Samsung on Monday officially announced that it’s delaying the Galaxy Fold due to critical display issues with some of the test models it sent out to reviewers.
The announcement comes just a day before the $2,000 Galaxy Fold was scheduled to go on sale. Last week, the Galaxy Fold made headlines for “foldgate” after several review units broke after just a few days of normal smartphone usage.
Earlier this morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Galaxy Fold wouldn’t hit shelves until May at the earliest. But Samsung is giving itself a bit of wiggle room by remaining vague on a firm release date.
“We plan to announce the (new) release date in the coming weeks,” Samsung said in a press release.
Not all the Galaxy Fold review units that Samsung sent out failed, but the number of reports suggest that the display failures weren’t isolated incidents.
In a couple of cases, a crucial protective layer was apparently removed by the reviewers (who said that Samsung gave no indication that the layer should remain on the device). But The Verge’s test unit seemingly failed after a piece of debris got caught in its hinge, while CNBC’s Galaxy Fold experienced display failure for no apparent reason at all.
In its press release, Samsung said it found that the display issues could be tied to “impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge” as well as “an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.”
The South Korean tech juggernaut also stated that it would take measures to “strengthen the display protection.”
Additionally, Samsung said it would “enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layers that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.” That includes explicitly instructing owners not to remove that protective layer — which looks like a normal screen protector.
Delaying the Galaxy Fold is obviously disappointing to early adopters who had placed an order for the device, but Samsung likely avoided much more negative press with its move.
Even before the display issues surfaced, some reviewers likened the Galaxy Fold to an untested “beta product” that Samsung was rushed out to market just for the sake of being first. Shipping a $2,000 smartphone with critical durability issues would likely have done lasting damage to the firm’s reputation.