Samsung Postpones Galaxy Fold Release

The 7.3-inch foldable smartphone will not launch on Friday as planned after major screen issues with review units.


In the wake of failed displays on review units for the industry's first mainstream foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the launch of the device is being delayed, Samsung confirmed on Monday.

The confirmation followed a Wall Street Journal report that the Galaxy Fold release would be postponed. Samsung did not provide a new date for the Galaxy Fold launch.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About Samsung's Galaxy Fold]

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The nearly $2,000 foldable device has been scheduled to ship on Friday.

"While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience," Samsung said in a statement provided to CRN. "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."

Reviewers for several media outlets reported display failures on tryout units of the Galaxy Fold, which features a 7.3-inch display when unfolded, akin to a small tablet. Some of the problems apparently stemmed from the accidental removal of the top layer of the display, which the reviewers believed to be a screen protector.

"I think it’s still early on with this technology, so with more time and engineering I think it will get sorted out," said an executive at a Samsung partner, who asked to not be named. "It’s clear that [foldable] screen technology is definitely moving forward."

Not all reviewers reported issues with the Galaxy Fold display.

In it statement, Samsung said that "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," Samsung said.

"We will take measures to strengthen the display protection," the company said in the statement. "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."

In February, Samsung announced what it's calling a "whole new category of device" with the Galaxy Fold.

When closed, the Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch display on its top cover, which can be used to access apps as normal. When opened, the Galaxy Fold offers 7.3 inches of display space, using Samsung's "Infinity Flex Display" technology.

The foldable display makes use of a sophisticated hinge system that allows users to open and close the Galaxy Fold smoothly, according to Samsung. The device has a starting price of $1,980.