In addition to the US and Korea, which were the first markets confirmed to get the groundbreaking Galaxy Fold
, Samsung promised (limited) availability across 15 specific European countries
as well a number of months ago. While the company's first-ever foldable smartphone was slated to make its global debut on April 26, the initial expansion to the old continent was supposed to happen a week later, which sounded like a very ambitious schedule.
This actually seems plausible and logical (for a change), but alas, it does not tackle the thorny question of a revised launch timeline in any way.
People in certain countries may have to wait longer than others
If the latest firmware testing hints are to be trusted (and they usually are), Samsung might be narrowing the scope of its Galaxy Fold re-release plans by eliminating a few markets from the original list. That could mean the device will simply see daylight a little later in those countries than the US and South Korea or never expand beyond a handful of major markets. Obviously, we're hoping the former theory will ultimately pan out, but right now, nothing is etched in stone.
There's even a chance the Galaxy Fold will be canceled altogether, as the company realizes the product's reputation is irreparably harmed and we're all better off with a fresh start
. All in all, however, the most realistic scenario today appears to call for a limited debut of the first-gen Fold in the US and Korea, as well as the UK, Germany, France, and India sometime in the next couple of months, followed by (similarly limited) sales in Italy, the Netherlands, and other "smaller" markets... eventually.
Basically, the evidence that points in this direction is Samsung's "scaled-back" firmware development work in "countries like Italy and the Netherlands" lately compared to tests being actively performed across the bigger markets listed above. In other words, the company is setting humbler goals for the Galaxy Fold re-release, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
If all the problems are solved, why is the Galaxy Fold not out yet?
That, our friends, is the million
billion-dollar question, and unfortunately, we can only theorize a number of possible answers for the time being. The first that comes to mind is a sense of caution that Samsung should have really exhibited the first time around as well. In other words, perhaps the Galaxy Fold has indeed "aced" its latest endurance tests
, but the company is taking more time to repeat said tests and make sure once and for all that the final device will be robust enough for day-to-day use. Or maybe there's more to the quality assurance story.
Perhaps the original issues have been fixed, but Samsung needs to take care of new ones. This is a theory partly supported by several executives, who revealed in recent months that previously unknown vulnerabilities were discovered during the "stabilization" process
. Unfortunately, the exact nature of these problems was never disclosed.
Last but certainly not least, it's possible Samsung's focus has shifted of late, as the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+
are right around the corner
. Globally releasing a "mainstream" new flagship duo takes time and resources, which might be preventing the Galaxy Fold from receiving all of the company's attention and dedication.