+ A

Samsung Galaxy Fold still MIA

May 29,2019
More than a month has passed since tech reporters in the United States reported that the Samsung Galaxy Fold devices they had been given to test were faulty, and the company has still not announced that the issue is resolved, raising speculation that its anticipated June launch will be pushed back further.

Since Samsung first postponed the device’s U.S. launch on April 23, the company has repeatedly said that it will announce a new release date “in the coming weeks.” As of Tuesday, that still hasn’t happened despite weeks having passed since the company publicly saying it had found the cause of the faults reported by tech reviewers last month.

“We’re in the process of trying many options and tests to see what will work best,” said a Samsung spokesperson.

“The process of stabilizing quality, including verifying components like the film and display, is taking some time - Samsung seems to be dedicated in verifying each individual component to increase the level of completion except the internal structure,” Yonhap quoted a mobile carrier source as saying on Tuesday.

In mid-May, news that Korea’s three mobile carriers were testing the network interworking of the Galaxy Fold sparked anticipation that its domestic release could happen within a month. The test is meant to confirm the compatibility of the phone with the telecommunications networks provided by mobile operators and typically takes a month or two to complete.

But the tests used the same Fold devices that turned out to be defective last month.

On whether the as-yet unseen, fault-free version of the Fold will have to undergo an additional round of tests regarding connectivity or paperwork approving sales, the company spokesman said it depends on how the product comes out after it is modified. If so, even if changes are finalized in June, the release could still be months away.

Mobile carrier sources, however, said this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of the Galaxy Fold coming out in June as planned.

“Earlier on, their initial goal was to release it in May, but the month is already over - I think this time, Samsung will try to launch within June, whatever it takes,” said one anonymous insider. “According to what I know, the new device won’t need additional tests,” the source added, implying that once the problems are resolved, releases in Korea could begin straight away.

May 31 is the deadline set for Samsung to start shipping Galaxy Fold devices to U.S. customers who have preordered the device. If the company passes that date and customers do not reconfirm their orders, preorder requests will be automatically canceled according to the U.S. Fair Trade Commission rules.

Another bad sign came last week as Best Buy, a leading electronics retailer in the United States, sent an email to customers saying it has decided to cancel all Galaxy Fold pre-orders as Samsung still had not provided a release date.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]