- Samsung is the first major smartphone maker to launch a foldable smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
- The ambitious $2,000 device was first shown off as a prototype in late 2018, and detailed in early 2019. But when reviewers got the Galaxy Fold in April, several broke.https://www.businessinsider.com/category/samsung
- And now, Samsung is pushing back the release date of the device just days before launch.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a single week, Samsung’s ambitious $2,000 foldable smartphone went from being a fascinating, awe-inspiring gadget of the future to a disaster.
The Galaxy Fold, which was meant to be the first phone ever with a foldable touchscreen, had been teased, unveiled and distributed to select tech reviewers in a carefully orchestrated rollout over the past six months. But once in the hands of reviewers, the phone’s foldable screen — and all its mystique — cracked and crumbled.
On Monday, Samsung acknowledged the inevitable and announced that the Galaxy Fold would be delayed for at least several weeks as the company tries to fix the phone’s problems.
So, what happened to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold? Here’s the whole story:
1. In November 2018, Samsung teased its foldable smartphone concept.
Samsung’s long-rumored foldable smartphone was first unveiled as a concept during Samsung’s annual developer conference, SDC, in San Francisco on November 7, 2018.
Rather than showcasing the phone itself, Samsung showed off a prototype of the device intended to demonstrate a new display type: "Infinity Flex."
No name was given for the forthcoming foldable smartphone, but Samsung promised it was going into production and we’d hear more soon.
In hindsight, the demonstration should’ve been the first red flag — Samsung showed the prototype shrouded in darkness from a stage, intentionally hiding the jagged edges.
2. Months passed with no news on Samsung’s smartphone concept. The Korean smartphone giant focused on its other device categories during the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
During the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January, Samsung focused on televisions and home appliances over smartphones.
Like it did during the prior year’s CES, Samsung demonstrated an absurdly large television dubbed "The Wall." Rather than being one very large panel, "The Wall" is made up of a gaggle of smaller panels that are combined to create the effect of a single large screen.
It wasn’t until the following month that we got a closer look at Samsung’s new foldable smartphone.
3. Samsung debuted the Galaxy Fold, and gave it a name, during its "Unpacked" event in February.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was officially debuted and detailed during the company’s Unpacked event on February 20.
Instead of being shrouded in darkness, this time the device was shown under the bright studio lights. There was even a demonstration of the phone in action over a relatively lengthy period of time.
It was Samsung’s first chance to prove to the world that, yes, the foldable phone is a real product that will be sold to consumers. To that end, Samsung succeeded — the demonstration proved that the Galaxy Fold was a functioning smartphone, albeit one with an absurdly small outer screen.
The device did what Samsung promised it would: It folded, and operated more or less as you would expect a modern smartphone to operate. Here’s a look at the folding in action:
During the demonstration, the device appeared to function relatively smoothly, and the transition from standard smartphone to folded open was relatively seamless.
In a strange twist, Samsung didn’t allow attendees of its Unpacked event to actually use the Galaxy Fold. Attendees had access to the other Samsung smartphones announced that day (the Galaxy S10 and S10e), but not the Galaxy Fold.
Again, in hindsight, this looks like a red flag.
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