Samsung postpones Galaxy Fold media events and launch

Samsung's new Galaxy Fold smart phone which features the world's first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display that works with the next-generation 5G networks. Courtesy Samsung/Handout via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) – Smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.

The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.

The company also said on Monday it will delay the public rollout of its Galaxy Fold without giving a new release date.

The announcement comes days after some reviewers of the splashy $1,980 foldable handset reported problems with their test units after just a day or two of use. Samsung postponed media events for the device planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

“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,” a Samsung spokesperson said.

Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s previously planned launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens, raising the spectre of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple Inc’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.

Samsung was initially planning to begin South Korean and European sales of the unit in May and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.

Samsung’s US launch partners for the Galaxy Fold, AT&T and T-Mobile did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Angela Moon in New York and Ju-min Park in Seoul; Editing by Tom Brown)

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