Samsung has delayed the release of its keenly anticipated $2800 folding phone after reviewers given advance models complained they were breaking.
Samsung said on Tuesday it would postpone this week’s planned release of the Galaxy Fold to allow it to “to fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests”.
The folding phone, which many hoped might herald new breakthroughs in smartphone technology, had been scheduled for release in the US on Friday.
“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,” the Korean tech giant said in a statement.
The problems started with advance models of the Fold sent to technology journalists. Some of the reviewers said the screen started flickering and turning black before completely fizzling out.
Two journalists said they removed a thin protective layer from the screens that they thought was supposed to come off, but was meant to stay.
But reporters from The Verge and CNBC said they left that layer on and their screens still broke.
The Verge reported that its review unit “developed a bulge that appeared to be the result of something in between the screen and the hinge, ultimately breaking the screen”.
A CNBC video shows the left side of the inside screen intermittently flashing, and the right side as unresponsive.
Samsung said its initial findings from the reported issues on the Galaxy Fold’s display showed that they might be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the phone’s hinge.
“There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance,” it said.
“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.”
A new release date for the Galaxy Fold has yet to be set. Samsung has not yet given an Australian release date.
The Fold isn’t Samsung’s first PR headache with its flagship Galaxy series.
In 2016, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 had a disastrous debut, causing worldwide panic when the handsets began exploding, smoking and catching on fire.
The fires were later found to be caused by battery defects. The company was eventually forced to recall the Galaxy Note 7, which was initially praised by critics as the best Android device on the market.
The disaster, and subsequent recall, cost the company billions of dollars in lost sales.