Samsung’s $2,000 Foldable Phone Has Big Problems
Samsung is planning to launch its first smartphone whose screen literally folds. However, the company is now worried that the Galaxy Fold version might be a failure after several reviewers revealed that the phone had started to break under regular conditions. The news had an immediate effect on the stock price, which fell over 3% on Thursday.
Folding Phone Already Breaking
On April 26, Samsung is expected to officially launch its folding smartphone, which will cost $1,980. But before that, the South Korean electronics company distributed several units for reviewers across the US. The results are more than disappointing, according to many of those who already unpacked the device and tested it. Bloomberg, CNBC, the Verge, and other media outlets reported the problems with the phone’s screen, which is often disconnecting and flashing on and off under normal use.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported problems the second day after he removed a plastic protective layer from the screen. He said that a small tear was formed at the top of the hinge, where the device opens, and the display didn’t function as needed.
Dieter Bohn of The Verge found that a bulge appeared under the crease of the phone, which seems to have caused a white line that cuts the screen in half. Bohn suspects that the issue was caused by a piece of debris. Again, the problem was spotted within a single day. He said:
It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
This is not the first time when Samsung’s long-awaited gadgets are failing around the launch date. In 2016, the company’s Galaxy Note 7 could burst into flames because of some issues with the batteries.
Don’t Remove the Protective Layer!
In the case of Galaxy Fold, Samsung replied to both Bloomberg and the Verge reviewers, who were told that they shouldn’t have removed the protective layer. It seems that the protector is an essential element of the screen. The company told the Verge:
A few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.
Also, Samsung admitted that it had distributed a limited number of early samples to testers and obtained a few negative reports that related to the main display. The company promised to inspect the phones in person to find out the real cause of the damage.
While Samsung is trying to hit the jackpot by becoming the first company to release a mainstream foldable phone, the launch might be a disaster if the reported issues are not addressed properly. A $2,000 phone that breaks after a single day of normal use would surely upset buyers.
The bad news is that some devices malfunctioned even though the protective film wasn’t removed. Thus, CNBC’s Todd Haselton tweeted that the Galaxy Fold’s display failed, with half of its screen flashing on and off.
The negative reviews put pressure on the stock price, which fell over 3% in Seoul. Daniel Yoo, head of global strategy and research at Kiwoom Securities, admitted that the decline was connected to the news about the Galaxy Fold issues.
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