Even though Samsung Electronics has not provided any specific timeline for the launch of its first foldable smartphone offering, the South Korean handset maker has confirmed that it will announce within the next few weeks the release schedule of the Galaxy Fold in the United States.
This report comes after several articles from South Korean news publications claim that the tech giant will announce the new launch date of the Galaxy Fold within the month. Moreover, two separate reports also indicated that the smartphone would go on sale next month, with one of the articles claiming that a Samsung executive confirmed the information.
Nonetheless, there could still be differences in the timeframe of the release of the Galaxy Fold in different parts of the world, and there is a possibility that international markets will get the device at a later date compared to Samsung's home market.
Samsung originally intended to release the Galaxy Fold in April, although numerous hardware failures experienced by reviewers prompted the handset maker to delay the launch of the smartphone temporarily. The South Korean tech giant took advantage of this delay to fix any remaining potential construction and design issues of the device before it ships to consumers. In an email that Samsung Electronics pushed to its customers, the company intended to announce its launch date in May, although it failed to state the new release date within its promised timeframe.
The key issue that forced Samsung to delay the launch of its device is the failure of the flexible display. iFixit, a group known for its device teardowns, inspected a unit of the device and found several possible reasons for the failure of the handset's screen.
First is the fragility of OLED panels, which often tend to fail as a whole rather than in segments. Furthermore, OLED screens can fail if exposed to substances like oxygen and water, and the panels are exposed to these substances once users remove the polyimide film that covers the flexible display. However, users can easily mistake the protective film for a screen protector that commonly ships with devices and people can remove the polyimide film relatively easily.
Aside from the removal of the polyimide film, another possible entry point of substances that could cause the display to fail is the gap present at the hinges at the top and bottom of the handset. Dust can enter these gaps, and these materials can cause bumps on the screen as the display presses on the internals of the device.
Reports mention that Samsung used the delay to improve the build of the smartphone. Among the changes that the South Korean tech giant has reportedly introduced to the handset include the insertion of the protective film into the edges of the smartphone chassis, the inclusion of warnings that remind users not to remove the polyimide film, and the reduction of gaps at the hinge of the smartphones.
However, the delays of the launch of the device have resulted retailers like Best Buy to cancel the pre-orders for the Galaxy Fold. Nonetheless, this latest report gives hope to fans that Samsung's first foldable smartphone is still underway, and the company is taking steps to fix the product's issues.