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Samsung Galaxy Fold release date delayed: Samsung admits its folding phone isn’t ready

Samsung is inspecting faulty units and plans to announce the Galaxy Fold release date in the "coming weeks"

The Samsung Galaxy Fold isn’t even on sale yet but it may have just fallen at the first hurdle.

After reports that review units were faulty, Samsung has decided to push back the folding phone’s release date until it can get to the bottom of what’s gone wrong.

In an official statement, the South Korean company said: “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.

“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.”

The firm added that initial findings from the inspection of reported issues discovered a problem that can be caused by impact on the top and bottom of the hinge. This inspection also found substances inside the device that are affecting the display performance.

Samsung now plans to “take measures to strengthen the display protection” and plans to issue better guidance on care and use of the display “so customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”

Samsung Galaxy Fold faults: What happened?

After a number of review units were sent to journalists, some technology reviewers reported major faults with the folding screen ranging from the appearance of mysterious bulges to dead pixels.

One tweet, posted by CNBC’s Steve Kovach, features a short video that shows the left-hand side of the screen flickering and being completely unusable. A thick black line is clearly visible down the centre of the flexible display.

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At the time, Samsung said it planned to “thoroughly inspect” the damaged units in person to try to determine what has gone wrong and that the faults appear to only impact a “limited number” of devices.

 In a statement, the South Korean firm added: “Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is delivered to our customers.”

Samsung will be hoping that these issues don’t escalate like they did with the exploding batteries on the Galaxy Note 7. In that instance, the handset was pulled from shelves. They were even banned from flights.

Samsung’s folding phone was unveiled at a Galaxy Unpacked event ahead of February’s Mobile World Congress. It has a 7.3in AMOLED display that lets you run three apps simultaneously on a screen that resembles a tablet’s. This screen then folds in on itself, meaning you can use the Galaxy Fold as if it were a regular smartphone.

It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM and a whopping 512GB built-in storage. It’s due to go on sale on 3 May, with preorders opening on 26 April in the US, but this may be pushed back if the display problems spread further. There is still no word of the official UK price or release date.

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