UPDATE: September 5 - Samsung has announced the UK availability of the Galaxy Fold, which will be on sale from September 18. Additional details are below.
The troubled Galaxy Fold will make its long awaited debut at the end of this week — though not in the U.S.
Instead, Samsung's home market of South Korea will be the first place you can buy the company's nearly $2,000 foldable phone. Samsung previously promised that the Galaxy Fold will ship in the U.S. in September, and when announcing the Korean launch tonight (Sept. 4), the company promised a U.S. debut for the Galaxy Fold in the coming weeks.
A new rumor emerging before Samsung's announcement pointed to Sept. 27 as the likely date for the the Fold's U.S. launch. That's according to a chat transcript between a customer who pre-ordered the Fold and a Samsung customer rep, according to a Business Insider report. Samsung hasn't officially confirmed that date, though.
The Fold will be available in two colors — Cosmos Black and Space Silver — for its Korean debut at the end of this week. Samsung confirmed those will be the U.S. color options, too.
When the Galaxy Fold does arrive in the U.S., Samsung will take great pains to make sure that anyone who buys the $1,980 smartphone won't suffer the same frustrations that derailed the Fold's original April launch.
Samsung says it's adding protection caps to the top and bottom of the Fold's hinge, and adding additional metal layers underneath the display to better protect it. And there will be less space between the hinge and the revamped phone's body in the shipping version of the phone.
Samsung also announced a new Galaxy Fold Premier Service that will give customers direct access to Samsung experts who can provide around-the-clock phone support.
"This includes an optional one-on-one onboarding session to walk you through every innovation packed into the Galaxy Fold and demonstrate how best to navigate this revolutionary device," Samsung said in a statement announcing its launch plans for the Fold.
Should the Fold arrive in the U.S. at the end of the September it will mark five months since the foldable phone was originally set to debut. Samsung delayed the planned April launch of the Fold after reviewers granted early access to the device ran into problems with its screen — a big deal since the screen that folds out into a 7.3-inch panel is easily the Fold's marquee feature.
Specifically, some reviewers pulled back a protective film that wasn't meant to be removed from the display, while in another instance, debris became caught between the Fold's hinge and the screen, making the display inoperable.
Samsung spent the intervening months researching what caused those problems and how to eliminate them from the shipping version of the Fold. In July, the company said it was extending that protective layer beyond the Fold's bezel, making it clear that the layer is part of the device's design and shouldn't be tampered with. (Presumably, the company's new Premier Service will make this point clear, too.)
When announcing the Sept. 6 launch date for Korea, Samsung said it was looking forward "to sharing more about this exciting new chapter for consumers" in the weeks leading up to the Fold's September debut. Hopefully, that means pre-order info, as well as which of the company's original retail partners will continue to offer the Fold. One of those partners, T-Mobile, has already confirmed that it won't be selling the Fold this time around.
Samsung UK has announced where British users will be able to get their hands on the Galaxy Fold, and there's two options once the phone launches on September 18. You can either buy it for £1,900 from a Samsung Experience store, or from mobile carrier EE on a currently unconfirmed range of data plans. Either way, you have a choice of two colors: Cosmos Black or Space Silver, and the asking price gets you the handset, a pair of Galaxy Buds and an aramid fiber case to keep the Fold in.