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The Galaxy Fold launch was embarrassing. Even Samsung’s CEO admits it

Samsung Galaxy Fold Announcement | Samsung Unpacked
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung’s CEO called the launch of the Galaxy Fold “embarrassing” and admitted that he launched the troubled phone before it was ready for prime time.

The company’s foldable smartphone marked an exciting step forward in design – until review devices began to break after just a few days of use. Reviewers testing the device complained of issues with the screen, with some phones becoming completely unusable. Samsung recalled the device and delayed its April 25 launch date.

“It was embarrassing,” said Samsung Electronic CEO DJ Koh according to The Independent. “I pushed it through before it was ready.”

Koh attributed the rush to release the phone to increased competition from Chinese smartphone companies Huawei and Xiaomi, which both planned to release foldable smartphones of their own.

“I do admit I missed something on the foldable phone, but we are in the process of recovery,” he said. “At the moment, more than 2,000 devices are being tested right now in all aspects. We defined all the issues. Some issues we didn’t even think about, but thanks to our reviewers, mass volume testing is ongoing.”

After the screen issues, Samsung pushed out the Galaxy Fold’s launch date to May, then July, then before July – and now it’s not clear when the phone will come out. Koh said the release is still happening, but could not say when you’ll actually be able to buy a Galaxy Fold. AT&T canceled pre-orders for the phone in mid-June, offering customers a $100 gift card for their trouble.

Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have largely looked the same – a glass rectangle. The Galaxy Fold and other foldable phones could change all that, if companies can get the technology right. Koh still sees folding phones as the future, but said smart devices with unique form factors might eventually overtake smartphones in popularity.

“Foldable will last a couple of years,” he said. “Another form factor is a possibility, but I will say that once 5G and the internet of things are available [together], we must think, rather than smartphones, we must think smart devices. Smartphones may decline but new devices will emerge.”

For what it’s worth, Digital Trends never had any problems with our sample Galaxy Fold, which Mobile Editor Julian Chokkattu called “an exciting step toward a foldable future” in his review.

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