Over two months after it was supposed to go on sale, Samsung has announced a new release date for the Galaxy Fold, its first-ever foldable phone.
With this announcement, one of the world’s largest phone-maker has at long last broken its silence about the nearly $2,000 device, which has been delayed since April 22 after reviewers reported screen breakages, flickering and bulging.
In addition to a new launch window, Samsung also said it has fixed the problems that caused some reviewers’ phones to break in the first place. The fixes include:
- A protective top layer that extends beyond the bezel, “making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure,” not a dust guard you’d want to remove.
- “Reinforcements” to keep debris from working its way underneath the screen.
- New “protection caps” to strengthen the top and bottom of the hinge area, which had revealed natural gaps where particles could get in.
- Metal reinforcements beneath the screen (the Infinity Flex Display), presumably to make the plastic screen stiffer.
- Reducing the air gap between the Fold’s body and hinge.
“All of us at Samsung appreciate the support and patience we’ve received from Galaxy fans all over the world,” Samsung said in its statement. Samsung has also worked on improving apps, the company said in its statement. The company added that it’s conducting final quality control tests.
“Samsung has taken the time to fully evaluate the product design, make necessary improvements and run rigorous tests to validate the changes we made,” the company noted in a statement.
The September launch will coincide with the release of the Huawei Mate X, which was due out in June but was also delayed for further work on the flexible screen.
Samsung is looking to the much-vaunted new model to revive its sinking global market share as Gartner tipped foldable devices to remain a niche segment of the smartphone market for years to come, despite the fanfare surrounding their potential to drive innovation in the sector.
Along with 5G, the next-generation network technology, foldable phone designs are potentially the most significant change to the phone industry in a decade. At a time when sales are stalling for heavyweights such as Apple and Samsung, a phone that folds in half offers a radical new look. It also opens up new ways to use a device that has the screen size of a tablet in a package about the size of a large smartphone.