Samsung CEO Calls Galaxy Fold Release “Embarrassing”

Published on July 2, 2019

Samsung made headlines for months following its announcement at its Unpacked  that it would be releasing the first ever foldable phone in 2019. The new phone promised to change the mobile phone industry forever, as it promised the screen size of a tablet but also a touchscreen smartphone. Samsung was scheduled to release the Samsung Galaxy Fold in the spring of 2019, but preliminary reviews of the product showed that it was prone to easy breakage after just days of use. Samsung pulled the product and pushed back the release date. Now, months after its scheduled release, Samsung has no plans of releasing the phone anytime soon and admits that the rush to get the phone on the market was embarrassing for the company.

What Samsung Promised In Its Galaxy Fold

The Samsung Galaxy Fold came with a hefty price tag at just under $2,000, but many consumers were willing to shell out the dough to be able to get their hands on the cutting edge technology. Foldable phones, at the time, were considered to be the future of the mobile phone. Companies like Apple and Huawei were also rumored to be toying with their own version of the phone/tablet combo. Many, however, were wary that the technology would take off in the same way that smartphones did when they first appeared on the market.

Many argue that the days of seeing an entirely new physical smartphone are behind us. Apple has been focusing on improving its phones software features. Meanwhile the biggest physical changes we’ve seen to smartphones in recent years have come as camera upgrades, changes to screen sizes, and thickness or weight of the overall device. The Samsung Galaxy Fold would have been an entirely new piece of technology. The product appeared to be a regular smartphone on the outside, but opened up to reveal a tablet-sized touchscreen on the inside.

Its specs were impressive, but initial reviews of the product showed issues that Samsung wasn’t able to find in its initial testing of the device’s durability. The phones quickly broke at the fold, or saw the inner touchscreen peeling off and breaking within days. The phone may have been impressive, but Samsung clearly rushed the production of the phone. It admits that it did this in order to be the first company to put a foldable phone on the market.

Samsung CEO Admits Mistakes

DJ Koh, the president and CEO of Samsung announced this week that the decision to launch the Samsung Galaxy Fold before it was ready to hit the market was an embarrassing mistake for the company. “I do admit I missed something on the foldable phone, but we are in the process of recovery,” Koh said at an event in Seoul, South Korea earlier this week.

The company is now testing 2,000 devices for different possible scenarios to see whether or not it will be possible to put it on the market. Koh also said that the company was able to fix a lot of the issues that were brought up in the initial reviews of the product, but that they were unable to find those issues before they sent the products out for review. Right now, there is no planned release date.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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