Samsung´s first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will go on sale on Friday in South Korea, according to reports.
The highly anticipated device from the world’s top smartphone maker was originally due to hit the US market in April but was beset with myriad flaws.
Its launch was delayed by screen defects and fixing the issue has taken the firm several months to rectify.
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Huawei’s Mate X foldable phone (pictured above) was also postponed for the second time last month, casting doubt on whether companies are ready to release a foldable, and functional, product.
The phone will cost about 2.4 million won ($1,980) for South Korean buyers, the source from one of the country’s major mobile carriers told Reuters.
The source reportedly requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The source did not provide further details.
Samsung declined to comment on Wednesday but promised to usher in a new age of foldables as part of its effort to showcase innovation amid the saturated smartphone market.
The company announced in July it would be ready to sell the Galaxy Fold in September after making changes to strengthen the device.
These include upgraded hinges, to avoid the issue identified by early reviewers.
Delays cost the South Korean tech giant sales that could have provided a decent bump in revenue during the slow summer season.
Last month, Chinese rival Huawei was forced to delay its own planned September launch of its first foldable phone.
The Galaxy Fold (pictured above) has still yet to receive an official release date as Samsung works to fix problems that cause critical flaws in the device’s display
Samsung’s tribulations with its now-notorious Galaxy Fold however, haven’t been enough to deter the smart phone giant from dreaming up new collapsible devices.
According to anonymous sources quoted in a report from Bloomberg, the company is already designing a second foldable phone that can scale down to a ‘compact square.’
The device will reportedly have a 6.7 inch inner display that will collapse into a square small enough to slide into one’s pocket and evoke a retro ‘clamshell’ design popularized in the heyday of flip-phones.
According to Bloomberg, Samsung is also working to make the phone thinner and cheaper than its predecessor, the Galaxy Fold, which will run consumers around $2,000.
The nascent device will also reportedly have an array of cameras on both the front and back, including a hole-punch style front-facing lens similar to the one that appears in the newest addition of the Galaxy Note.
There will also be two rear-facing cameras which will have different functionality depending on how the phone is positioned — folded open, the device will be able to use both cameras, but with one half folded shut, users will be limited to only one.
As noted by Bloomberg, one major advantage the phone will have over Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will be its shape.
Samsung’s newest project will fold out into what is essentially the shape of a normal smart phone meaning developers won’t have to design custom aspect ratios for apps on the device like they do with the more square Galaxy Fold display.
In theory the phone sounds like an improvement on the larger, more expensive, foldable phones currently in production, however, it remains to be seen whether the device will be able to avoid critical flaws that have plagued devices of its ilk.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE GALAXY FOLD?
Samsung debuted the $2,000 Galaxy Fold to great fanfare in February.
But journalists who received review units ahead of the Fold launch in late April reported experiencing issues with the interior screen.
After just one or two days of use, users said the display began to flicker and turn black before becoming completely unusable.
Journalists who received review units ahead of the Fold launch reported experiencing issues with the interior screen. The display would flicker and go black
The issues are believed to stem from the hinge causing too much pressure on the screen.
Some said they had removed a protective layer on the screen that was supposed to stay on.
Meanwhile, others said they didn’t remove the protective film, but the device still stopped working.
YouTube user Marques Brownlee said he removed the protective film and his device began having issues
A warning on the Galaxy Fold packaging instructs users not to remove the protective layer, according to a photo posted by T-Mobile Senior Product Manager Desmond Smith.
‘The main screen includes a special protective layer,’ it reads. ‘Peeling off the protective layer or using any adhesives on the main screen, such as screen protectors or stickers, may cause damage.’
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman said his Galaxy Fold started operating abnormally after he removed the film and eventually became unusable.
Additionally, YouTube user Marques Brownlee said he removed the protective film and his device began having issues.
But Dieter Bohn, executive editor of technology news site The Verge, says he left that layer on and his screen still broke.
The issues raise questions about whether or not the Galaxy Fold can withstand normal use.