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Samsung is delaying its Galaxy Fold launch so people don’t end up with $2,000 paperweights

Updated Apr 22nd, 2019 1:22PM EDT
galaxy fold delay
Image: Samsung

Samsung’s foldable smartphone has been making lots of headlines over the past week, and for all the wrong reasons. After several prominent technology blogs revealed that their review units broke within days (and sometimes hours) of use, it quickly became clear that the nearly $2,000 phone isn’t ready for prime time just yet. Now, a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Samsung is poised to delay the phone’s launch for at least another month.

The outlet cites unnamed sources within Samsung who claim that the high-profile device failures have forced the company to rethink its launch plans. Most of the reviews have been decidedly lukewarm, especially when considering the phone’s incredibly high price point, and very few reviewers are recommending that anyone even consider taking the leap.

One particular point of emphasis is on the device’s built-in screen protector that is not designed to be removed, but which several early reviewers attempted to pull off anyway. Many smartphones come with a removable layer of film on the display which is typically removed within seconds of opening the box. The Fold is different, and the plastic layer is apparently a vital component of the display.

Some of the journalists who spoke openly about their broken devices admitted that they removed that plastic without knowing what it was, while others claim they never touched it but that their phone screens died within days anyway.

Samsung devotees have been quick to rush to the company’s defense, noting that this is a low-production device and essentially a first-run attempt at an entirely new type of smartphone. That’s true, but it’s also $2,000 and probably shouldn’t die within two days. It’s clear that Samsung will need to do something to mitigate the number of device failures within days of launch.

This report of a planned launch delay comes just hours after Samsung began cancelling launch events in China and elsewhere, citing issues with the venues rather than a problem with the device or a delay that may be in the works. Samsung has yet to confirm the delay, and sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal did not reveal a potential alternative launch date.