Yesterday told you about the unfortunate news concerning Samsung's brand-new Galaxy Fold smartphone. Hailed as being a revolutionary design that gives users a tablet experience in a device that is still somewhat pocketable, the Galaxy Fold is the first such entry from a major OEM.
In a flood of first-person reports that came through yesterday, it was discovered that the flexible displays on the Galaxy Fold were breaking prematurely. In one instance, a piece of foreign material worked its way under one review unit and eventual pierced the OLED panel, permanently damaging it. In other instances, a protective layer over the display began peeling away prematurely. In yet another, the left-hand side of the display began flickering uncontrollably.
Needless to say, so many failures among a limited number of review samples sent out is troubling to say the least. This is especially concerning given that the $1,980 smartphone is scheduled to begin shipping to customers next week (April 26th).
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
Following all of the negative attention that the company has received over the past 24 hours, Samsung has issued the following statement regarding the matter:
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.
While it's great that Samsung is responding, there's one major issue that we have with this response. First of all, the protective layer itself seems to be an issue. Given that it was already starting to flake or peel away on review units shows that Samsung may have some serious problems that it needs to address. Something like this popping up on review units this late seems like an issue that should have been easily spotted in development from any employee that used the device regularly for more than a few days.
What is somewhat surprising, however, is that Samsung is going forward with its April 26th launch despite the obvious concerns surrounding the display. While having defective displays in the hands of reviewers is one thing, shipping devices to consumers with the same defect will open the company up to even greater scrutiny. We can only hope that Samsung has installed a more robust display in its shipping Galaxy Fold smartphones that what was sent to reviewers.