Following weeks of breathless anticipation, Samsung has pushed back the release of its much-awaited Galaxy Fold. The delay comes after a series of embarrassing reviews, which have made it clear that the phone is every bit as fundamentally flawed as it looks. According to a statement from Samsung quoted in the Wall Street Journal , the April 26 release date has now been shelved so that the smartphone maker can deal with issues surrounding the Fold’s display.
Samsung had already started taking pre-orders for the $1,980 phone, billed as the next big innovation in the dynamic world of smartphones. Several reviewers, however, reported similar problems with the phone’s display, prompting Samsung to hurriedly postpone the release date and issue an explanation filled with empty corporate-speak.
Samsung’s main rival, Apple, is often derided for worrying more about branding and marketing than about actual innovation. Whether it is releasing $159 wireless earphones, or selling the case for said earphones separately at $79, Apple has mastered the art of regularly releasing pointless, expensive products with zero innovation. Samsung appears to have chosen a path that is both identical and diametrically opposed to this simultaneously.
Whereas Apple releases overpriced junk that offers no real value compared to alternatives selling for one-fifth of the price, Samsung apparently wants to sell overpriced gear with every kind of innovation that nobody asked for. The end result is the same – a poorly thought-out product that leaves everyone secretly scratching their heads after the power point presentation is done.
The Galaxy Fold is the living embodiment of the phrase “innovation that nobody asked for.” What is it? Is it a phone? It certainly feels too thick to be one. Is it a tablet? Not really. It’s certainly too fragile to be one. But hey, you can now watch Netflix on a wider screen (which you could just do on a tablet) or you can spend your daily train commute playing a RAM-hungry videogame on a wider screen like a weirdo. This has definitely solved that problem.
Why does anyone need a phone that folds when Samsung still has not figured out how to create a phone with an unbreakable, scratch-proof screen, for example? Now that would be innovation. As it stands, the Galaxy Fold appears to be gunning for Apple’s captive market of the “we don’t need it and we certainly never asked for it, but it’s supposed to be cool, so we will shell out $2,000 to get it.”
According to Samsung, the problems experienced by the testers stem from their own handling of the device, which is a nice and corporate way of dodging responsibility for a defective product. Apparently, the screen protector that comes with the Galaxy Fold is supposed to stay on, failing which the screen will malfunction. Amazingly enough, such a vital piece of information was not deemed important enough for the testers to know.
In any case, the phone’s entire selling point – the hinge – has a design flaw that can create a bulge on the screen and cause the device to malfunction. So to recap, $2,000 worth of smartphone gets you a somewhat pointless phone-tablet hybrid that can fold in half but which may then malfunction because…it can fold in half. That is the groundbreaking result of painstaking research and development.
All things considered, perhaps we should be grateful that it’s only the screens going bad. It could have been worse, like an exploding phone or something. Samsung would know all about that.