Samsung might be delaying the relaunch of its problem-ridden Galaxy Fold smartphone even longer than previously estimated. An announcement regarding a new launch date was expected within weeks, but now Samsung has formally released a statement denying that its flagship device will be reintroduced before the end of July. The Korean Herald has quoted a Samsung spokesperson as saying “Nothing has progressed since the April delay”, referring to the fact that no media event has been planned yet. CNET had reported earlier this week that the company definitely hasn’t given up on the device and would make an announcement “in the coming weeks”.
The Galaxy Fold, which was expected to kick off a wave of foldable smartphones after it was first shown off just ahead of this year’s MWC conference, was supposed to launch on April 26 in select countries including the USA, priced at $1,890 (approximately Rs. 1,31,200). However, multiple reviewers who had been given pre-release units posted photos and videos of their devices’ screens failing. In at least one case, the screen cracked completely, and in another, it bulged near the crease. Samsung decided to postpone the launch indefinitely, and even cancelled pre-orders.
Samsung will need to make sure that its folding screen is functioning perfectly before it relaunches such an expensive device. Still, the problems faced by Galaxy Fold reviewers spread virally online, and this might put several buyers off. Even those who had previously pre-ordered the device might reconsider spending so much money on a first-generation foldable device.
The Galaxy Fold wowed audiences at Samsung’s pre-MWC Galaxy Unboxed launch event earlier this year, but the $1,980 price was a shock to many. The device features a 4.6-inch 860×1960-pixel external screen, but unfolds to reveal a 7.3-inch 1536×2152-pixel Flex Dynamic AMOLED panel. Other specifications include 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Samsung did not announce the make or model of processor used at the time of the launch.
Samsung had even confirmed that the Galaxy Fold would launch relatively soon in India, but that it was unlikely to be manufactured locally, which would have made it even more expensive.
Huawei showed off its own foldable, the Huawei Mate X, at MWC this year as well, though this model has its bigger screen on the outside and is even more pricey. Now, Huawei has also delayed the launch of the Mate X from June to September. The company has stated that it needs to run additional tests on its folding screen, and does not want to risk delivering a flawed device.