Samsung to delay launch of its new folding phones ‘after breaking issues’

Olivia Tobin

Samsung is to delay the launch of its first foldable phone after some early reviewers reported issues with the phone’s screen.

The planned public launch of the new product has been pushed back, despite there being a lot of anticipation from excited customers.

The company had been planning to release the Galaxy Fold on Friday, but instead will run more tests and announce a new launch date in the "coming weeks".

The Korean tech giant said inspections of the £1,800 devices had uncovered two issues.

In a statement, Samsung said it would announce a new release date for the Fold in the "coming weeks".

The delay is a setback for Samsung and for the smartphone market generally, which had been pinning some hopes on the folding phone to catalyse innovation in the industry.

The Galaxy Fold was not intended to be a mass market hit, but many hoped it would hint at a new wave of smartphone advances - an area that has been lagging in recent years.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold - in Space Silver (Samsung)

Reviewers quickly found issue with the Galaxy Fold, which is about the size of an average smartphone when folded, and the size of a small tablet when its two sides are pulled apart.

Several journalists reported the inside screens flickering, freezing and finally dying on their test units within the first couple days.

Two reviewers mistakenly removed an outer plastic layer that was meant to stay on and reported scratches on the screen afterwards. Samsung confirmed the layer was meant to stay on, but that did not explain why many reviewers saw the phone's inside screens break.

An early inspection showed there could be issues when pressure is put on the exposed areas of the hinges that open and close the phone, Samsung said in a statement announcing the launch delay.

It also found an issue where "substances found inside the device affected the display performance".

Samsung said: "We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold," a spokeswoman for the company said.

"While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.

"To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.

"Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance."

Samsung said it would also increase the amount of care guidance it included in the phone's packaging to help users prevent further issues.

"We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold," the tech giant said.

"We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding."