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Samsung says it won’t delay the Galaxy Fold launch date, despite mysterious problems

Updated Apr 18th, 2019 1:05AM EDT
Samsung Galaxy Fold breaking

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Samsung has finally weighed in with an official statement addressing the slew of media reports over the past 24 hours detailing a series of mysterious and bizarre malfunctions some early Galaxy Fold users have encountered.

Ahead of the April 26 launch date for the company’s much-hyped first foldable handset, a number of prominent reviewers and journalists revealed problems with their units that ranged from broken, flickering screens to other oddities like at least one strange bulge in the device. Samsung’s response, which you can read in full below, amounts to, in short: We’ll be inspecting those units “thoroughly” in person. But next week’s US launch date is still a go.

The company’s statement released to the media late Wednesday:

A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.

Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.

That last part was something Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and prominent YouTuber and gadget reviewer Marques Brownlee tweeted about to their followers on Wednesday, after discovering too late that it’s something you’re not supposed to do and inadvertently wrecked their Galaxy Fold units in the process. “PSA: There’s a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display,” Brownlee told his Twitter followers Wednesday. “It’s NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it. I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement.”

Among the reasons why reports of these broken units have attracted so much attention is that the device costs $1,980, so encountering catastrophic problems is definitely not something you’d want to see only a day or two into usage on a device that expensive. Also, Samsung prior to this had touted that it rigorously tested these devices, even releasing a video showing that they could “outlast” 200,000 folds and unfolds. As always, the real world proves to be a different beast altogether.

One final note: While Samsung’s statement above doesn’t reference the launch date, reports Wednesday night from The Verge and elsewhere mention confirmation that Samsung still plans to go ahead with the US launch of its first foldable smartphone on April 26.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.