Samsung announces September launch of the Galaxy Fold
Samsung has announced tonight that it expects to launch the delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold in September. The device was supposed to be released on April 26th, but several issues popped up causing the manufacturer to halt the launch. While the Royale FlexPai beat it to the market last year, the Galaxy Fold was going to be the first foldable offered by a major phone manufacturer. And it still could snag that honor depending on when in September both the Galaxy Fold and Huawei's Mate X are each officially released.
The delay forced Best Buy and AT&T to cancel pre-orders and refund any money that was paid to reserve the phone. Samsung itself agreed to do the same unless it received an email from a customer asking the manufacturer to keep his or her pre-order open.
Samsung Electronics chief D.J. Koh admitted earlier this month that it rushed out the Galaxy Fold. Influencers who received review units were peeling off a layer of plastic film on the device's internal 7.3-inch display, thinking that it was similar to the plastic that one would pull off the display on a newly purchased smartphone. However, Samsung had included a warning with the packaging of these units that told influencers not to peel the film off the screen. Those who failed to heed the warning found that the display no longer worked. Another influencer found a bulge on his Galaxy Fold's internal screen that was caused when some debris entered an opening at the top of the device's hinge. And other review units just stopped working for no apparent reason.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold will be released sometime in September
When Samsung went back to the drawing board, it extended the protective layer of the Galaxy Fold past its bezels. This should make it clear that the film is not be peeled off. And protection caps added to the top and bottom of the hinge are designed to prevent any debris from entering the device through this part. Additionally, metal layers have been added underneath the Infinity Flex Display to reinforce the display, and Samsung also reduced the space between the hinge and the body. Besides fixing these hardware problems, the manufacturer is optimizing more apps for the phone's foldable UI.
With final tests taking place, the company says that it will launch the Galaxy Fold in select markets starting in September. It says that more details about product availability will be made public as Samsung gets closer to releasing the phone.
Also due out in September is the Huawei Mate X. An outwards folding smartphone as opposed to the inwards folding Galaxy Fold, the Mate X was originally supposed to be launched in June, but will now hit the market no later than September. Since the device was unveiled in February, it will still come with the Google Play services version of Android installed even though Huawei remains unable to access its U.S. supply chain. Google has cut ties with Huawei, but it had already licensed the Mate X prior to the ban.
One major issue that neither Samsung nor Huawei can fix with an update is the pricing of their foldable phones. The Galaxy Fold costs $1,980 for the 4G version and the 5G variant will reportedly command a $150 premium. It isn't clear when the 5G model will launch although South Korea is expected to get it first. The Huawei Mate X, which won't be sold in the states, is 5G enabled and is priced at the equivalent of $2,600 USD.