The $1,980 Galaxy Fold is being positioned as a revolutionary product eight years in the making, but it’s already facing a huge issue just eight days before it hits store shelves.
Several Galaxy Fold units given to reviewers have exhibited severe screen problems. In some cases, the Fold screens have broken and in others they have flickered and/or faded to black. This is the worst possible start for heralding the next big thing in phones.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11,” said Ramon Llamas, an analyst for IDC. “Samsung has invested plenty in the development and marketing of the Fold and for negative reports like this to come out so soon do not help its cause. And it’ll make potential customers think twice about getting it now.”
Avi Greengart, lead analyst at Techsponential, agrees that this is a very bad look for the company. “The failure of several Galaxy Fold review units is extremely disconcerting – it certainly puts a damper on the launch of an exciting new product category,” said Greengart.
Samsung has issued a statement saying that it will inspect the broken or damaged Galaxy Fold units. And it’s not all Samsung’s fault. Sort of. Some reviewers mistakenly removed a layer of protective coating for the main 7.3-inch display, believing that it was just a piece of film that many phones ship with out of the box.
In its statement, Samsung says that “Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”
That’s great, but the fact that this can happen at all speaks to mediocre product design. Users should not be able to easily remove something that can instantly turn your phone of the future into a $2,000 paperweight.
“Samsung should have anticipated this before distributing review units, but this issue is not fatal,” said Greengart. “It can be corrected with warnings in the box and at retail.” More