Samsung delays release of Galaxy Fold phone after reports of screens breaking

Company will announce new launch date in the 'coming weeks'

Tom Embury-Dennis@tomemburyd
Monday 22 April 2019 20:20
Samsung releases video showing Galaxy Fold device being tested for creases when phone closes

Samsung is delaying the release of its highly anticipated £2,000 folding phone after reports reviewers’ devices are breaking.

The South Korean company had been planning to release the Galaxy Fold on Friday, but will now announce a new launch date in the “coming weeks” after it does additional testing.

The delay is a blow to Samsung and the smartphone market, which had been hoping the folding phone would help stimulate innovation in the industry.

The Galaxy Fold, with its $1,980 (£1,525) price tag, was not intended to be a mass market hit, but many hoped it would hint at a new wave of smartphone advances - an area that has been lagging in recent years.

But reviewers quickly found issue with the device, which is about the size of an average smartphone when folded, and the size of a small tablet when its two sides are pulled apart.

Several journalists reported the inside screens flickering, freezing and finally dying on their test units within the first couple days. Two reviewers mistakenly removed an outer plastic layer that was meant to stay on and reported scratches on the screen afterward.

Samsung confirmed last week the layer was meant to stay on. But that failed to explain why many reviewers saw the phone’s inside screens break.

An early inspection showed there could be issues when pressure is put on the exposed areas of the hinges that open and close the phone, Samsung said in a statement on Monday. It also found an issue where “substances found inside the device affected the display performance”.

Samsung said it will to find ways to better protect the screens and explain to people the outside protective layer must stay on.

Other test phones seemed to still be working well, and so far holding up to the Samsung pledge that the phone can be unfolded about 200,000 times in its life.

Additional reporting by AP

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