Samsung Confirms That It’s Delaying the Galaxy Fold Launch

Senior Editor
Updated

Editors' Note: Updated at 1:14 p.m. ET with Samsung's official statement.

Samsung's April 26th Galaxy Fold is now on hold, and it's not clear for how long.

Credit: Tom's GuideCredit: Tom's Guide"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 released today (April 22). "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."

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, broke the news earlier that Samsung was pushing back the rollout of its foldable phone after a rash of early reviewers cited problems with the device.

The Galaxy Fold was to have made its debut on April 26 — Samsung was even taking pre-orders for the $1,980 phone. But the last week hasn't been kind to Samsung's foldable phone. Four reviewers given early access to the phone reported problems with the display, the device's marquee feature.

In two instances, the problems may have been caused when reviewers removed a protective layer over the screen that needed to stay in place. But other reviewers didn't touch that layer and still reported problems, from a bulge in the screen that may have been caused by the Fold's hinge to half of the display going blank.

It should be noted that other Galaxy Fold review units, including the one Tom's Guide is testing, haven't been affected by problems. But the reported damage and negative reviews were apparently enough for Samsung to postpone a pair of launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

In its statement, Samsung says a preliminary investigation found that some of the issues reviewers are seeing "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.

Samsung said it's going to use the delayed launch to "strengthen the display protection." It also plans to make it more clear not to touch the protective layer on the phone's display.

Samsung is no stranger to problematic phone launches. The Galaxy Note 7, launched in 2016, had to be recalled and then discontinued after the phone's battery exploded in several high-profile instances. Samsung clearly wants to avoid a debacle like that, especially with a phone that boasts a starting price approaching $2,000.

Here's Samsung's complete statement about its decision to delay the Galaxy Fold launch.

“We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold.

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.

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.

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. 

We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. 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.

We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding.”