Samsung clawing back Galaxy Fold from reviewers amid faulty screen complaints

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 23
In addition to delaying the launch of the phone, Samsung is now asking reviewers to return their Galaxy Fold samples, acknowledging that they were encountering numerous problems with its foldable OLED screen.

Image Credit: Steve Kovach on Twitter
Image Credit: Steve Kovach on Twitter


"On the bright side, we have an opportunity to nail down this issue and fix it before selling the phones to a massive audience, so they won't have same complaints," an anonymous Samsung source told Reuters.

The Fold was originally due to ship on April 26, but earlier this month reviewers began complaining about broken screens after a day or two of use. In some cases this was attributable to reviewers mistakenly pulling at a protective layer, but in others stress on the hinge section of the display resulted in corrupt, flickering, or outright missing graphics.

On Monday Samsung postponed the Fold's launch indefinitely, promising to make fixes before it reaches the public. The device costs nearly $2,000, which could've resulted in a major backlash from both buyers and the media.

Samsung is likely eager to avoid a repeat of the Note 7, which suffered numerous battery fires leading to not one but two recalls and a complete cancellation. The debacle ultimately cost it some $5 billion and forced it to implement stricter battery testing.

Read Samsung's full statement on the Fold delay:
We recently unveiled a completely new mobile category: a smartphone using multiple new technologies and materials to create a display that is flexible enough to fold. We are encouraged by the excitement around the Galaxy Fold.

While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience.

To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.

Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.

We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.

We value the trust our customers place in us and they are always our top priority. Samsung is committed to working closely with customers and partners to move the industry forward. We want to thank them for their patience and understanding.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    tylerdtylerd Posts: 32member
    I have to admit that I was looking forward to feeling some schadenfreude as I watched Samsung ship what is clearly a prototype, that has questionable utility (at least in the immediate future). I find it odd that they would effectively send these units to reviewers and hope for the best. I understand that the race to be first has some strong marketing power (just look at 5G), but is it really worth the negative impact inflicted on your most loyal user base (the early adopters)? Say what you want about Apple, but they would only ship a finished product.
    edited April 23 jbdragonmuthuk_vanalingamDanManTXracerhomie3olsguscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 36
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,721member
    "Destroy the evidence!"

    tylerd said:
    I have to admit that I was looking forward to feeling some schadenfreude as I watched Samsung ship what is clearly a prototype, that has questionable utility (at least in the immediate future). I find it odd that they would effectively send these units to reviewers and hope for the best. I understand that the race to be first has some strong marketing power (just look at 5G), but is it really worth the negative impact inflicted on your most loyal user base (the early adopters)? Say what you want about Apple, but they would only ship a finished product.
    It seems like a classic case of marketing overruling engineering.
    tylerdanantksundaramemig647stompyguscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 36
    jgutherjguther Posts: 84member
    "...We value the trust our customers place in us..."

    Trust...what trust?

    anantksundaramalbegarcpscooter63chiasilverwarlocracerhomie3olsJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 36
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,184member
    The funny thing is Samesung was sending out Replacement phones to the reviewers. Yet now they're taking those right back once again? WOW!!! I figured, wait and see if they were actually going to launch. If so, maybe there's not really a problem, or they think there isn't. If they delay launch, it must be a big enough problem to stop it like that. It doesn't put them or the phone in a good light to delay launch. If there's a real hardware issue, these phones may never get released. At least this version. All the hardware may have to be scraped. They could be out a whole lot of money. Better to do it now the millions out and having to do a full recall like with the exploding S7. It's not a good sign. They can't software patch themselves out of this one
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 36
    doggonedoggone Posts: 191member
    Now this is the true "Foldgate"!!!
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 36
    "On the bright side, we have an opportunity to nail down this issue and fix it before selling the phones to a massive audience, so they won't have same complaints."

    Another way to avoid complaints is conducting internal testing instead of letting reviewers do the testing. Call me a madman; I'm just a consumer after all, not a purported industry leader.
    tylerdanantksundaramchiaStrangeDaysairnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 36
    jbdragon said:
    The funny thing is Samesung was sending out Replacement phones to the reviewers. Yet now they're taking those right back once again? WOW!!! I figured, wait and see if they were actually going to launch. If so, maybe there's not really a problem, or they think there isn't. If they delay launch, it must be a big enough problem to stop it like that. It doesn't put them or the phone in a good light to delay launch. If there's a real hardware issue, these phones may never get released. At least this version. All the hardware may have to be scraped. They could be out a whole lot of money. Better to do it now the millions out and having to do a full recall like with the exploding S7. It's not a good sign. They can't software patch themselves out of this one
    One correction - It was Note 7 with exploding battery, not S7. You are spot on, on the delayed launch. They would be better off scraping this, go back to the drawing board, take time to fix the issues (even if it would take years), and then launch the product (i.e. if they are able to solve ALL the teething problems).
    guscatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 36
    tylerdtylerd Posts: 32member
    MplsP said:
    "Destroy the evidence!"

    tylerd said:
    I have to admit that I was looking forward to feeling some schadenfreude as I watched Samsung ship what is clearly a prototype, that has questionable utility (at least in the immediate future). I find it odd that they would effectively send these units to reviewers and hope for the best. I understand that the race to be first has some strong marketing power (just look at 5G), but is it really worth the negative impact inflicted on your most loyal user base (the early adopters)? Say what you want about Apple, but they would only ship a finished product.
    It seems like a classic case of marketing overruling engineering.
    I think that you hit the nail on the head.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Quote... "On the bright side, we have an opportunity to nail down this issue and fix it before selling the phones to a massive audience, so they won't have same complaints," an anonymous Samsung source told Reuters.

    Massive audience ? LOL
    lkruppStrangeDaysking editor the grateDanManTXwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 36
    Incredible that these people have to sense of shame whatsoever with how they're making utter asses of themselves.

    I had always thought that "not losing face" was an important cultural attribute to consider in how decisions are made in some of the countries/cultures of the Far East.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 36
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    MplsP said:
    "Destroy the evidence!"

    tylerd said:
    I have to admit that I was looking forward to feeling some schadenfreude as I watched Samsung ship what is clearly a prototype, that has questionable utility (at least in the immediate future). I find it odd that they would effectively send these units to reviewers and hope for the best. I understand that the race to be first has some strong marketing power (just look at 5G), but is it really worth the negative impact inflicted on your most loyal user base (the early adopters)? Say what you want about Apple, but they would only ship a finished product.
    It seems like a classic case of marketing overruling engineering.

    Or the classic case of an engineering mind over-estimating a layman mind. It's very common for an "educated" person to not understand the level of which their audience might not be knowledgable and overlook certain critical details.

    Anyway, still not getting as much backlash as Apple did cancelling the AirPower - at the very least Apple knows when to say "No" and quit.
    edited April 23 radarthekatMORGiONwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 36
    The funny part to me is the (when-working) unfolded phone, showing a widescreen movie, with 2 giant black bars:   top & bottom.

    "Hey look we can show a phone-shape movie in the middle of a big almost-square screen!"

    How about show some ?useful? use-case stuff, like GPS-map on an upper half, and something-useful on the bottom half, while holding it almost like a micro-laptop (think sideways TXT-ing on an iPhone, with another iPhone hinged up with a map.  User could text "I'm almost there!" on lower, with upper-GPS-map showing 1 block left to walk).

    Perhaps they have.  I only know about the Fold from AI stories!

    Cheers!

    E.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 36
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,453member
    This kind of statement is made by hired hands (PR people) having almost nothing to do with Samsung itself (not even the language and nothing of the culture) and is made to be politically correct and as a result insincere and untrue in its entirety.
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 36
    BxBornBxBorn Posts: 61member
    I don't think it was a bad idea to send out a bunch of device to testers who would put it through real world paces and then adjust based on the feedback (keep in mind some of these "major" issues were self-inflicted) - granted the issues were probably more than expected but they'll be able to address them before going full to market. We live in a society now were everyone feels like they have to bash and be overtly negative in their criticisms. Take it for what it is, a nice twist on existing technology that once perfected will be pretty cool.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,718member
    They'll recall it and never speak of it again. The tech pundits will "forget" it ever existed and continue to rail against Apple for canceling the Air Power mat for the next five years. The next iPhone may have a stray finger print on it and the same pundits will declare it "a massive misstep and the worse 'failure at launch' in history" and proof of Apple's demise. 
    StrangeDaysravnorodomradarthekatguscatMORGiONwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,718member
    BxBorn said:
    I don't think it was a bad idea to send out a bunch of device to testers who would put it through real world paces and then adjust based on the feedback (keep in mind some of these "major" issues were self-inflicted) - granted the issues were probably more than expected but they'll be able to address them before going full to market. We live in a society now were everyone feels like they have to bash and be overtly negative in their criticisms. Take it for what it is, a nice twist on existing technology that once perfected will be pretty cool.
    They aren't testers. They are reviewers. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 36
    BxBornBxBorn Posts: 61member
    jungmark said:
    BxBorn said:
    I don't think it was a bad idea to send out a bunch of device to testers who would put it through real world paces and then adjust based on the feedback (keep in mind some of these "major" issues were self-inflicted) - granted the issues were probably more than expected but they'll be able to address them before going full to market. We live in a society now were everyone feels like they have to bash and be overtly negative in their criticisms. Take it for what it is, a nice twist on existing technology that once perfected will be pretty cool.
    They aren't testers. They are reviewers. 
    not much difference between the two -  in order to review it you have to do some level of testing on it in the real world, if not, then what are you reviewing so the comment still holds
  • Reply 18 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,409member
    Dear reviewer, please find two boxes so you can return your trial Galaxy Fold.
    StrangeDaysravnorodomking editor the gratefotoformatradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,409member
    BxBorn said:
    I don't think it was a bad idea to send out a bunch of device to testers who would put it through real world paces and then adjust based on the feedback (keep in mind some of these "major" issues were self-inflicted) - granted the issues were probably more than expected but they'll be able to address them before going full to market. We live in a society now were everyone feels like they have to bash and be overtly negative in their criticisms. Take it for what it is, a nice twist on existing technology that once perfected will be pretty cool.
    I'm not convinced the concept is a good one even if perfected.  It's a whole different thing if you had a pad like this but for a phone, it is an extra step to open it then exactly how do you hold it as you cycle along, etc.?  The old flip phone answered both issues as it dropped down with a flick and holding didn't alter.  It's not the same with a 'widening' device.
    edited April 23 radarthekatguscatDaleCannonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 36
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,438member
    Here’s the bottom line. Read it and weep... or throw up in your mouth.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/18/tech/samsung-galaxy-fold-breaking-debacle/index.html

    Headline reads:

    Samsung Galaxy Fold phones are breaking. Here's why it doesn't matter


    Double standard? Naw.


    edited April 23 watto_cobra
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