Hong Kong (CNN Business)Samsung has fixed its expensive and troubled Galaxy Fold and will make it available in select markets beginning in September.
The South Korean company has made “necessary improvements” and run “rigorous tests” on the phone, it announced Thursday.
That included tweaking the design and strengthening the phone’s hinge area — the part of the phone that some users said was defective.The foldable phone, which will retail for $1,980, was supposed to hit stores in April but those plans were shelved after the reports from early users about how quickly the device broke.
The 4.6 inch-smartphone’s key selling point is that it opens up into a 7.3-inch tablet. But reviewers complained of several problems, including defective hinges and broken screens, after they mistook the Fold’s protective film for a disposable shield and removed it.
Samsung (SSNLF) said it has extended the top protective layer to make it more obvious to usersthat it is notsupposed to be removed.The company also added caps to protect the top and bottom of the phone’s hinge.Samsung did not say which markets will get the phone in September, nor did it announce an exact release date.
The early reviews were a setback for Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker. The companyhas worked to win back customer trust following its Galaxy Note 7 fiasco in 2016. Millions of those devices were recalled because of reports of exploding batteries. Samsung later halted production and sales of that phone.
Despite Thursday’s news, consumers willlikely be hesitant to buy the Galaxy Fold because ofits hefty price tag and the early reports of broken screens, said Will Wong, an analyst with research firm IDC. More