Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that South Korean hardware giant Samsung has finally figured out how to keep its $2,000 Galaxy Fold bendable smartphones from going haywire as soon as they land in the hands of users, and though it is in the “final stages” of the redesign it still doesn’t know when sales will resume.
Samsung indefinitely delayed the Galaxy Fold launch in April after early reviews found the device had serious problems including screens that continually flickered or worse and hinge bulges—though admittedly it seemed that many of these issues were caused by reviewers peeling off a protective film on the screen that apparently looked removable, but absolutely should not have been removed. (Gizmodo found no such problems with our review unit, finding it had other serious flaws and trade-offs but was still an exciting debut of new technology.)
Bloomberg’s sources say that Samsung has now readied a fix for these problems, including by stretching the protective film across the entire screen and into “the outer bezels so it would be impossible to peel off by hand.” It has also re-engineered the hinge so that it pushes “slightly upward from the screen (it’s now flush with the display)” so that the film stretches further when the phone opens. That last part does seem to suggest that the issues with the protective film weren’t solely limited to unsuspecting users ripping it right off the device. Bloomberg wrote:
That tension makes the film feel harder and more a natural part of the device rather than a detachable accessory, they added. The consequent protrusion, almost imperceptible to the naked eye, may help reduce the chance of a crease developing in the middle of the screen over time, one of the people said.
Note that reports as early as May described similar presumptive solutions to the Galaxy Fold’s woes as well as claimed a rollout was imminent, so perhaps take this news with a grain of salt. However, Bloomberg’s sources were slightly more cautious, saying that while Samsung will soon begin shipping some parts including displays and batteries to Vietnam, the revamped device is “unlikely” to make an appearance at an “Unpack” event in early August which is widely believed to be the Galaxy Note 10's launch.
Samsung Electronics CEO DJ Koh recently admitted to reporters the botched Galaxy Fold rollout as “embarrassing” and he had “pushed it through before it was ready.” Huawei’s foldable Mate X, which Samsung was apparently trying to beat out the door, has hit its own delays and may not be out until September.