Samsung CEO DJ Koh says he pushed for the release of the foldable Galaxy Fold phone “before it was ready.” And there’s still no ship date for the device more than two months after its originally scheduled release.
Koh made his comments to a small group of reporters during a recent press meeting in Seoul, according to The Independent in a report detailing Samsung’s efforts to bring a foldable phone to market.
“It was embarrassing.” Koh said of the Galaxy Fold’s ill-fated launch.
The Fold was to have debuted at the end of April, a couple months after Samsung unveiled its foldable smartphone at the Galaxy S10 launch. But reviewers started running into problems with the device’s screen — a protective covering meant to stay in place turned out to be too easy to remove, while in some cases, debris managed to slip under the screen, causing problems.
Samsung indefinitely postponed the phone’s launch, and several of its retail partners, including Best Buy and AT&T have subsequently cancelled Galaxy Fold pre-orders, suggesting that no new launch date is in sight.
In his latest comments, Koh now says that Samsung has “defined all of the issues and all of the problems” with the Fold and has “2,000 devices being tested.” The first major foldable smartphone still isn’t ready for a firm release date, though, with Koh saying, “give us a bit more time.”
“I do admit I missed something on the foldable phone, but we are in the process of recovery,” Koh said.
The relaunch of the Galaxy Fold has been something of a moving target, even if Samsung has never formally committed to a new date. During a May interview with the Korea Herald, Koh said the company had resolved the issues with the Galaxy Fold's screen and a new release date would be announced “soon.” However, a Yonhap News Agency report from later that month quoted an unnamed source at Samsung saying the company was still working to finalize the launch schedule, and that the Fold's release may be pushed back past June. As recently as June 14, DJ Koh denied that a July launch was in the works.
If Samsung felt pressure to get the Galaxy Fold out earlier this year, that pressure could mount, with rival phone makers working on foldable phones of their own. Samsung’s chief competitor on the foldable phone front at this point would be Huawei, which previewed its Mate X phone back in February. Huawei has since pushed the release of that phone until September, as it continues to test the phones in hopes of avoiding the launch problems that Samsung faced.