Announced in March 2019 and expected to release in US on April 26 for $1,980, Galaxy Fold's key appeal lies in the foldable screen that Samsung claims can withstand 200,000 folds. (Reuters)
Announced in March 2019 and expected to release in US on April 26 for $1,980, Galaxy Fold's key appeal lies in the foldable screen that Samsung claims can withstand 200,000 folds. (Reuters)

Samsung holds back Galaxy Fold’s launch over screen durability issues

  • The Galaxy Fold's screen could not survive scrutiny by reporters who had received the early units for reviews before the launch
  • Samsung said the issues could be due to the impact on the exposed areas at the top and bottom of the hinge, besides a broken substance inside the device

New Delhi: It seems like buyers will have to wait a little longer to lay their hands on Samsung’s much hyped foldable smartphone, with the company deciding to hold back the launch for now.

In a statement to the US media, Samsung said their initial findings showed that the reported issues could be due to the impact on the exposed areas at the top and bottom of the hinge, besides a broken substance inside the device. They have decided to hold the phone’s release until they evaluate the issues internally.

Announced in March 2019 and expected to be released in the US on 26 April for $1,980, Galaxy Fold’s key appeal lies in the foldable screen that Samsung claims can withstand 200,000 folds.

While China’s Huawei and Royole Corp. have also unveiled their foldable smartphones, Galaxy Fold was going to be the first to hit the market. Unfortunately, the phone’s screen could not survive scrutiny by reporters who had received the early units for reviews before the launch.

Marcus Brownlee, a YouTube tech reviewer, noticed a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold review unit.

As customary, Brownlee peeled off the screen protector only to find that it was well glued than a normal screen protector. By the time he removed the entire screen, it went black.

James Bareham from Verge found a bulge on the screen right where the phone’s screen folds. Not only did it distort the screen, but he could also feel a piece of debris under the screen. When he pressed the bulge the screen broke.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, tweeted a picture of Galaxy Fold with one side of the screen totally black and a flickering blue screen on the other.

Even before the launch, experts were a bit sceptical about foldable screens and felt folding/unfolding of the screen will cause more and wear and tear, reducing the phone’s life-cycle. But they didn’t expect things to go bad this soon.

Most foldable phone screens have more plastic substrates than glass, which makes them bendable.

While plastic substrates are less susceptible to damage than glass, they can only bend up to a certain number of times.

“I think all brands rushed to showcase their foldables. The issue is of the material, which is still plastic to my mind. Unless I see someone like Corning coming out with their glass solution for foldable smartphones, there is a big question mark about their durability," said Faisal Kawoosa founder and chief analyst, techARC.

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