Will Samsung’s foldable phone have been worth the wait?

Q&A: Even the most cynical among us would have winced when the $2,000 price tag was revealed

Galaxy Fold
Galaxy Fold

To much fanfare, Samsung launched its foldable phone, the Galaxy Fold, in February for a price tag just shy of $2,000 (€1,796).

The all-singing, all-dancing phone can multitask, we were told, and came with no less than six cameras. And, it would hit markets on April 26th. Except it didn’t.

Now, however, Samsung has told us production of the device is back on track with plans to launch it in September.

What does the phone do?

The Galaxy Fold is not your average smartphone: its foldable display transforms from a phone into a tablet when it is opened. It can multitask, displaying three different apps on the tablet screen and it has a plethora of cameras.

Why has its release been delayed?

Just eight days before it was originally due to release the phone, Samsung said it had received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of some of the units that had been sent out to journalists for review. There were some reports of the screen cracking or flickering while others reported a tear at the top of the hinge where the phone opened.

The company then made the decision to abort the commercial release of the mobile, which was to have been a crowning achievement in its ongoing fight against rivals Apple and Huawei.

What did the delay mean for Samsung?

Unlike when the South Korean manufacturer had to recall the Note 7, Samsung had only predicted about 1 million units of the Fold to sell this year. That compares with the 291 million smartphones it shipped in 2018. Financially, at least, it wasn’t as big a deal as previous issues but it was a public relations disaster.

And while it has recovered from the Note 7 debacle, which wiped €13 billion off its share price in the early days of the issue, it doesn’t want to risk another mass recall. Sorting the problems now rather than later was a shrewd move. More

By Peter Hamilton https://www.irishtimes.com