Samsung hadn’t commented much on its decision to delay the Galaxy Fold and address its design issues, but it finally opened up a little. The company’s Electronics Division CEO, DJ Koh, admitted that he “pushed the phone through before it was ready” for its prime time. The setback around the Galaxy Fold was “embarrassing,” he added. While Koh didn’t provide a more detailed explanation about what happened, the statement suggests that Samsung was in a hurry to get the Fold out the door in order to be put in the spotlight.
The company’s foldable smartphone was an exciting step forward in terms of design, but test devices began to break just after a few days of use. Reviewers testing the device complained about issues with the screen, and some phones even turned out to be completely unusable. After this, Samsung decided to delay its April 25 launch date.
“It was embarrassing,” said Samsung Electronics Division CEO DJ Koh. “I pushed it through before it was ready.” Koh justified the rushed release of the Galaxy Fold due to the increased competition from Chinese smartphone companies Huawei and Xiaomi. Both companies planned to release foldable smartphones of their own, threatening Samsung’s popularity.
Koh commented a bit more on the issue, saying “I do admit I missed something on the foldable phone, but we are in the process of recovery. More than 2,000 devices are being tested right now in all aspects. We defined all the issues. Some issues we didn’t even think about, but thanks to our reviewers, mass volume testing is ongoing.”
After the screen issues, Samsung has been found swapping the Galaxy Fold’s release launch date back and forth, first to May, then July, then before July. This makes it unclear when the phone will come out. Koh confirmed the release is still happening but could not say when you’ll actually be able to buy a Galaxy Fold. AT&T canceled pre-orders for the phone in mid-June, offering any customers that pre-ordered one a $100 gift card for their trouble.
Since the launch of the iPhone in 20 all smartphones have looked almost the same – a rectangular shaped glass. But foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold could change all that, assuming that companies actually get the technology right. Koh added one last comment about the future of folding phones or others with unique form factors, and how they might overtake nowadays smartphones in their popularity.
“Foldable will last a couple of years,” he said. “Another form factor is a possibility, but I will say that once 5G and the internet of things are available together, we must think, rather than smartphones, we must think smart devices. Smartphones may decline but new devices will emerge.”
Now Samsung is found with two matters at hand; finding a way around the Fold’s design issues as well as convincing possible buyers that it’s still worth taking a chance on a gadget with such a bumpy history.