Last week, multiple technology reviewers uncovered a “small” flaw in Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold flexible smartphone; it’s incredibly easy to break. As news of the device’s catastrophic flaws spread worldwide, the tech giant pledged to investigate the matter. However, the company initially did not announce plans to cancel or delay the Fold’s April 26 global launch.
On April 22, Samsung revealed it reconsidered and would be temporarily scuttling the smartphone’s release.
The South Korean tech titan’s change of plans was preceded by a report from the Wall Street Journal. The publication noted the firm felt the highly touted mobile device was not ready for consumers after its defects became publicized.
What’s Wrong with the Galaxy Fold?
In a press release announcing the rollout delay, Samsung detailed the issues that caused the Galaxy Fold to malfunction. The corporation stated there is a problem with the smartphones exposed hinges and display construction. Notably, the firm’s explanation doesn’t account for all of the problems members of the press had with the device.
A reviewer from The Verge stated a problem with the Fold hinge led to it developing a major screen crack. Other tech reporters noted its display stopped working after they peeled off a polymer layer they mistook for a screen protector. Furthermore, a CNBC tech expert discovered it abruptly stopped working without cause.
Samsung didn’t offer a new release date for the Galaxy Fold but indicated an announcement would be forthcoming.
When a Big Bet Doesn’t Pay Off
No firm wants to delay the release of a new product, but the Fold’s issues are especially problematic for Samsung. Ars Technica reports the corporation spent in excess of $100 million and six years developing the flexible device. The conglomerate’s time and capital investment in the smartphone suggest it was to be a flagship product.
Indeed, Samsung is in desperate need of a killer new offering. Earlier this month, it reported that its revenues plunged 60 percent year-to-year in Q1 2019. The company’s smartphone business isn’t its only underperforming segment. In March, Intel announced that it beat its longtime rival in microchip sales for the first time since 2017.
Unfortunately, the corporation’s plan to make the Galaxy Fold the next big thing in mobile electronics has been fraught with problems. In late 2018, 11 people were arrested for stealing Samsung’s foldable screen blueprints and selling them to Chinese tech companies. Within months, Sino electronics conglomerate’s Huawei and Xiaomi brought their own flexible smartphones to market.
Sadly, the mobile tech firm was on the path to renewed success with its new smartphone. Despite its $1,980 price point, Samsung sold out of its presale supply of Galaxy Folds. Admittedly, the corporation may be able to pull off its comeback if it is able to distribute its new product this quarter.
But if the Fold’s problems go beyond putting a warning sticker on the smart device’s packaging, Samsung’s future as a tech sector institution will be a lot less certain.