Samsung's Galaxy Fold won't launch this week after all

  • The first folding phone from Samsung focuses on a high-end market.

    The first folding phone from Samsung focuses on a high-end market. Washington Post


Samsung announced Monday that it would delay the release of its new $2,000 flagship Galaxy Fold phone after reports of product defects affecting the screen, which folds like a sandwich, a major setback for what was the most highly anticipated new mobile device in years.

The phone was due to arrive in stores Friday. But last week, product reviewers who received the phones about a week before there were to be sold to consumers reported problems such as broken hinges that caused the screen to bulge. Samsung said it would make modifications to its screen design and announce a new release date "in the coming weeks."

The company said its initial inspection of the damaged phones showed the problems could have been caused by impact to the hinges.

Last week, the company shrugged off the problems with the review units, saying they affected a "limited number" of phones. It said it was investigating the matter. Samsung also cited some reviewers' pulling off a protective film from the screen as a source of some of the problems. "Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage," the company said in the statement.

The Galaxy Fold was supposed to be Samsung's best bet to reignite interest in the stagnant smartphone market, putting it possibly years ahead of Apple.

It's the latest high-profile quality issue with Samsung phones. Within weeks of the summer 2016 launch of its Note 7 phone, some phones began exploding or catching fire. The company sent out replacement units, which also started exploding, and the company was hit with a government recall because of unsafe batteries. After many weeks of delays and damage to its reputation, Samsung officially pulled the phone from the market.

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