Just when you may have thought the drama surrounding Samsung's oft-delayed Galaxy Fold launch
hit a peak level
, a senior company executive is adding to the intrigue and confusion today. Technically, Kim Seong-cheol works for Samsung Display rather than Samsung Electronics, but as a Vice President of the latter's screen-making subsidiary, one would expect him to be very familiar with the situation of the Korean giant's highly anticipated first foldable device
According to Kim, the Galaxy Fold
is "ready to hit the market", as "most" of its display problems "have been ironed out." This is merely the latest in a long line of conflicting official statements on the matter of the phone's release and "stabilization" efforts, differing wildly from the view of an unnamed Samsung employee who claimed just a few days ago nothing had "progressed since the April delay."
Why so cryptic?
Before getting too excited about the newest development in the Galaxy Fold release saga, it's worth noting the ambiguity of Kim's statements as quoted by The Korea Herald's The Investor
. To our knowledge, there were only two things wrong with Samsung's foldable smartphone
. One, the protective layer applied on top of the flexible display looked far too similar to a regular plastic screen protector
, peeling off too easily and causing almost immediate and irreparable damage. Second, there was a noticeable gap between said layer and the product's screen bezels, which made it easy for debris to enter into direct contact with the fragile plastic display.
Bottom line, Samsung seemingly had two (pretty big) problems to solve, "most" of which have apparently been ironed out. Even leaving out the "how" of the equation, that prompts more questions than it answers. Did Samsung only manage to properly fix one of the issues, leaving the other partially unrepaired? If so, which of the two has gone away completely and which one do we still need to keep an eye out for? Worse yet, did Samsung discover additional vulnerabilities, "most" of which have already been fixed?
That's all up in the air right now, but apparently, the Galaxy Fold is "ready to hit the market", at least from the theoretical standpoint of this Samsung Display exec.
Still no new release date announced
Remember when "more specific shipping information" was supposed to come in "two weeks"
? How about when CEO Koh Dong-jin promised a "conclusion" on the revised launch schedule would be reached in "a couple of days?"
At least we're not getting a similarly empty promise today. In fact, we're not getting anything in terms of a potential new date or timeline, which might be for the best.
But if the Galaxy Fold is indeed "ready", our hopes for a July commercial debut are reborn all of a sudden. At the latest, it sounds like the groundbreaking device should see daylight alongside the Galaxy Note 10 in August
. That's hardly ideal for a product initially scheduled to hit US stores in April, but it would still most likely beat the Huawei Mate X
to the commercial punch.
Then again, if we are to believe Huawei's official motivation for its own lengthy foldable phone delay
, the Galaxy Fold could ultimately land in September as well. The embattled Chinese tech giant
says things like network certification and carrier testing are actually holding off the Mate X
, and the same stuff might end up impacting the launch timetable of the Galaxy Fold too. Whenever the Fold does become available, Samsung Display's Vice President expects it to "receive a lot of attention in the market." Let's hope it will be the good type of attention this time around rather than negative buzz generated by unforeseen incidents and catastrophic screen damage