Innovation in the smartphone industry has become pretty bleak. There are only so many types of upgrades to the camera, hardware, and software that will make a phone more appealing to consumers, and more importantly, justify a hefty price tag. Though most smartphones are ultimately worth the cost because of the hard work and technology that has gone into them, innovation and outside-of-the-box thinking is now sorely lacking in the industry.
Samsung thought it was creating a product that would change that. The company announced its newest smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, earlier this year. Designed to be foldable, the device had a planned April 24 launch in Shanghai, China. Samsung has now postponed the event because of broken screens across the product line.
The $2,000 device was scheduled to go on sale on April 26 in select markets, including the United States. The innovation was that it could fold in half and open up again to reveal a larger, tablet-sized display.
Journalists who reviewed the Galaxy Fold came across some major issues with the device and its screen. Apparently, when reviewers removed a protective film from the screen, the display malfunctioned. They noticed that the thin layer of plastic that protects the foldable display, which is also plastic, was peeling. This allowed for substances to get between the display and the protective cover, causing the phone to fail.
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Samsung said in a statement that its new device would “need further improvements” before it is available to consumers. The company went on to say:
We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.
If you can remember a few years back, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 also had issues. The devices were exploding and causing fires. It was a public relations nightmare for the company, and it took some time for it to recover from the incident.
Samsung maintains that it performed extensive testing of the Galaxy Fold, even calling it an excessive amount of testing. The device’s screen would have to endure a lot of stress from frequent opening and closing, which I guarantee could happen more than 200 times in a week. People are always on their phones, and opening and closing a device could be a compulsion for some bored consumers. I’m a fidgety person, and I’m constantly opening and closing the pop socket that is on the back of my phone, so I know I’d be prone to opening and closing the Galaxy Fold.
The company has no room to make another huge mistake like it did with the Galaxy Note 7. It has taken Samsung eight years to develop the Galaxy Fold in the hopes that it would be a flagship device for the company. This is a problem that Samsung can’t ignore.
The company postponing the launch of the Galaxy Fold is the right thing to do. It shows that it’s learned from its past mistakes and is trying to avoid another public backlash. With one of its competitors, Huawei, expected to launch its foldable phone, the Mate X, in June, I believe that Samsung will go full force in trying to fix this problem as efficiently as possible.
Until next time,