The one saving grace from the whole Galaxy Fold mess is that the biggest problem with this device category is going to hurt Huawei far more than it is going to hurt Samsung.
Samsung has delayed indefinitely the launch of the Galaxy Fold while it tries to fix some of the issues encountered by reviewers when they got their hands on the device for the first time. This includes:
First, screen protection: The Galaxy Fold had a surface layer on the screen which many reviewers mistook for a screen protector and removed causing screens to catastrophically fail. This will now be more deeply integrated into the chassis of the device such that no one will mistake it for a removable layer
Second, hinge: One reviewer found that lint was able to enter through gaps in the hinge and press up against the underside of the screen. This also caused the screen to fail. Gaps in the hinge will be decreased in size to prevent a re-occurrence of this problem.
This is all well and good, but it does not fix the biggest problem of all which remains scratch-ability. Most smartphones today use tempered glass to protect the screen from scratching. On a flexible screen, this is obviously not possible which is why everyone is using plastic.
The Mohs scale measures the hardness of materials (scratch-ability) and tempered glass scratches at level 6 with deeper grooves at level 7. Plastic, by contrast, scratches at a level 2 meaning that the screen of a foldable phone could end up being 3-5x more scratchable than a regular smartphone.
Richard Windsor is the owner and operator of independent research company Radio Free Mobile. RFM covers all aspects of the digital ecosystem with a mission; ‘to entertain as well as inform’.