There’s more bad news for all you bleeding edge early adopters hoping to have one of the first folding smartphones to show off to friends. The Galaxy Fold has not only missed its original ship date, in a recent letter to those who pre-ordered the $1,980 device, Samsung now seems to have no idea when the Fold will actually see the light of day.
If you missed all the drama, it turns out there was a good reason why Samsung was hesitant to allow reporters to handle the Galaxy Fold after it was first announced. When a select number of Folds were sent to tech journalists for review, a host of concerning issues came to light, including flickering displays, screen protectors that shouldn’t have been peeled off, and physical damage to the flexible OLED display when small debris managed to find its way into the phone’s hinge. These were dealbreaker issues for a $1,980 device, and to Samsung’s credit, it delayed the Fold’s official launch to address them.
FTC regulations require a company to ship a device that it made available for pre-order in the specified time frame, and if it can’t, it must contact the customers to allow them to cancel the pre-order, or request that they give their explicit consent to keep on waiting. For Samsung, that shipping deadline is now May 31. Anyone who pre-ordered and doesn’t respond by the end of the month (assuming the Fold isn’t released by then) will see their orders automatically canceled.
Samsung did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Droidlife has shared a copy of one of those pre-order letters that Samsung sent out earlier this week, which includes a giant link button for those who are still optimistic about the Galaxy Fold being salvageable. What the letter doesn’t include is any kind of estimated ship date, just a promise of future updates on the Fold’s status in a couple of weeks.
As iFixit discovered on its deep dive of the Samsung Galaxy Fold’s guts, the design of the device’s hinge allows small dirt and debris to find its way underneath the flexible OLED display. Even a small speck can exert enough pressure on that display to physically damage it, requiring a complicated and expensive repair. How Samsung plans to resolve this flaw is unknown, but it’s clearly turned out to be a bigger problem than the company anticipated.
Update, 12:23 p.m. EST/EDT: A Samsung spokesperson has provided Gizmodo with the following statement on the continued Galaxy Fold delays:
“Samsung Electronics America is committed to keeping our customers informed on the status of their Galaxy Fold preorder. While we continue to make progress in enhancing the Galaxy Fold, a new release date has not yet been announced. Because of this, we have recently contacted our preorder customers to provide them information on their options as we move forward.
As per U.S. regulations, we are required to notify customers that their preorders will be cancelled in the event the product has not been shipped by May 31st. Samsung Electronics America is offering customers an option to keep their orders past this date and customers may also cancel their orders at any time.
Samsung values the trust our customers place in us and want to thank them for their patience and understanding.”