SEOUL, Jul. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. said Thursday it will release its long-delayed Galaxy Fold in select markets in September, after fixing durability issues and improving the design of the foldable device.
The South Korean tech giant had initially planned to launch the US$1,980 foldable device in the United States on April 22 but postponed the date over durability issues.
A few malfunctions have been linked to user error by some reviewers who removed a protective film that is integral to the screen, but there were other instances of problems with the device itself.
“Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience,” Samsung said in a release.
The top protective layer of the display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.
The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with new protection caps and additional metal layers underneath the display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.
The space between the hinge and body of the Galaxy Fold has been reduced, it said.
Samsung said it has also worked on optimizing more apps and services to improve customer experience with the new interface.
“Samsung is conducting final product tests to make the Galaxy Fold available to consumers starting in September in select markets,” the company said, without elaborating on the schedule and the list of markets.
The company’s first foldable device will arrive one month after the launch of its latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, which will be unveiled on Aug. 7 and go on sale two weeks later.
Market watchers said Samsung may have set the Galaxy Fold release date to avoid overlapping with its flagship product and to get stay ahead of Huawei’s debut foldable.
“As Samsung is focusing on its flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, it was widely expected to launch the Galaxy Fold after its launch,” Choi Bo-young, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said.
“The Galaxy Fold’s main rival will be Huawei’s foldable model, the Mate X, which is expected to come out in the coming months.”
The Galaxy Fold features a 7.3-inch display that folds into a compact device with a separate 4.6-inch cover display.
The phone weighs 263 grams and is 6.9 millimeters thick when opened and 15-17 mm thick when folded, depending on its position, the company said. It is lighter but thicker than Huawei’s Mate X.
It is equipped with six cameras from cover to cover, as well as a next-generation AP chipset and 12GB of RAM to support powerful performance.
The smartphone maker said the larger screen is designed to offer a new way to multitask, watch videos, play games and more by displaying up to three windows simultaneously.