Reviewers have taken to social media to say that the foldable screen, a key feature, of Samsung’s soon to be released Galaxy Fold phone, has been failing within days of reaching testers under normal use. Samsung described the device as “unlike any device that has come before it,” and said it could be opened and closed 200,000 times – or 100 times a day – for five years.
It has emerged that some journalists had peeled off the screen’s thin protective layer, thinking was meant to be removed, however, other testers who’d left it on still reported breakage. The flexible plastic layer is designed to remain on the device to protect the screen’s sensitive components and prevent scratches.
In a statement, Samsung said: “A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. 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.”
At present, the failure rate of the phones cannot be ascertained as it is unclear how many devices have been distributed, however, other testers have not reported screen failures.
Within days of going on sale the Samsung Galaxy Fold sold out of preorders in the US, but will not ship or reach stores until April 26th. In Europe and the UK, the phone will go on sale May 3rd, with preorders starting on April 26th. The South Korean company expects to manufacture one million of these premium devices.
It’s unknown if the phones shipped to customers will have the same defects. However, the Galaxy Fold comes with an insurance scheme called Samsung Care+, which covers screen breakages.
This is not the first time Samsung has suffered a launch hiccup such as this. In 2016, the company’s Galaxy Note 7 had battery problems that caused the devices to explode prompting two recalls and eventual retiring of the product.
The company will be feeling the pressure as its major competitors such as Huawei race to bring their own folding phones to market. Furthermore, if the devices continue to fail the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer could face a costly high return rate.