Samsung resorted to loosening some rules of its loyalty program in the United States in order to stop consumers from cancelling Galaxy Fold pre-orders en masse.
According to a new report, the firm started sending reward points to customers despite the fact their advanced orders haven't been cleared yet seeing how the device itself has been indefinitely delayed. While better than nothing, the gesture itself isn't a particularly grand affair seeing how it's still limited by the every rule Samsung attached to the loyalty program, including the one that caps the maximum number of points to 200 per a single purchase.
In other words, pre-ordering this $2,000 Android smartphone will net you $20 worth of loyalty points, which is hardly a reward that will change many minds set on canceling their advanced orders after being disillusioned by the manner wherein Samsung's first bendable handset launched, i.e. failed to launch.
This entire affair turned what was supposed to be a high-profile debut of a niche device meant to illustrate how Samsung continues to pioneer a wide variety of mobile technologies into a PR disaster the company is still struggling to mitigate. Between some reviewers breaking their devices, many not receiving them at all, and the hate train being all too quick to take off on social media, Samsung is currently in a difficult and highly surprising position given industry expectations from just several months ago.
One thing that too many are missing is that the Galaxy Fold was never meant to be a mainstream device targeting a mass audience but was primarily envisioned as a palpable sign of things to come, a way for Samsung to reinforce the notion of being at the bleeding edge of consumer technologies while still keeping its focus on conventional handsets.
The hate it's now receiving is hence arguably unwarranted seeing how Samsung was rather transparent in its product communication so far, clearly stating the device is a prototype and a work-in-progress that it hopes will pave the way toward maturity for the bendable handset concept as a whole.
What happens next is anyone's guess; Samsung insists the Galaxy Fold will be released shortly, yet it's still not accompanying that promise with a concrete release window, let alone date. That's certainly not a good sign for tech enthusiasts who were hoping to jump on the bendable phone bandwagon by early summer because as things stand right now, they simply won't have an option to do so.
The troublesome launch of Samsung's seminal device is still unlikely to change anything in the long run as most manufacturers remain optimistic about this form factor's potential to replace candybar designs. Before that happens, bendable smartphones must become significantly more cheaper to manufacture while simultaneously having their failure rates reduced to the point of negligibility.
Whether Samsung manages to fix the Galaxy Fold within a reasonable timeframe or now remains to be seen but regardless of what happens with this particular phablet, it's basically guaranteed that the South Korean tech giant will play an important role in the industry's long-term foldable handset push.