- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
- Samsung has announced that it will release its much-delayed folding smartphone, the $2,000 Galaxy Fold, in Korea on September 6 and in the UK on September 18. The new phone will then be rolled out in France, Germany, Singapore, and the US through the rest of September.
- Samsung generated huge hype in 2018 when it first began showing off a folding phone prototype, and unveiled the final device in February 2019.
- That hype was quickly punctured when reporters testing review units in April 2019 found that the device’s screen broke. Samsung pushed back the phone’s original April 26 launch date while it frantically tried to fix the issues.
- In a press release on Thursday, Samsung said that it has now improved the design and construction of the phone.
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After months of wondering and waiting, customers will finally be able to get their hands on the first mainstream foldable smartphone – Samsung’s $2,000 Galaxy Fold.
In statements to the press on Thursday and Friday, Samsung confirmed its book-shaped folding smartphone will be relaunching as soon as September 6 in its native Korea and then on September 18 in the UK. France, Germany, Singapore, and the US will be next in line, it said.
Customers in the UK will be able to purchase the phone through British operator EE. It will also be sold at Samsung experience stores.
Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy Fold in February to much fanfare but was quickly forced to push back its initial late April launch date after a small number of reviewers reported that the screens on their devices had broken after just two days of use.
Some reviewers discovered issues after removing a protective layer that wasn’t designed to be removed; others found that the smartphone simply malfunctioned. Business Insider did not encounter any issues during its own review of the Galaxy Fold.
A teardown of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold demonstrated that the phone’s design was extremely fragile, particularly the screen and the hinge. Rival Huawei, which is also planning to launch its own foldable phone, also criticised Samsung’s folding phone design for being too fragile.
Samsung recalled its review phones and delayed its release date indefinitely until it had resolved the screen issues.
The firm said in its Thursday statement: “During the past several months, Samsung has been refining the Galaxy Fold to ensure it delivers the best possible experience. Not only we improved [sic] the Galaxy Fold’s design and construction, but also took the time to rethink the entire consumer journey.”
Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco had a sneak peek at the Galaxy Fold back in April, prior to the fixes. The Fold is 5G-enabled, and its design means it folds and unfolds a little like a book. When completely unfolded, the phone features a 7.3-inch inner display. Folded up, there’s a separate 4.6-inch front display. It’s powered by a 7-nanometer 64-bit processor and includes 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage space, and a 4380mAh battery.
While the exact date for the US market has not yet been released, one customer told Business Insider that they were informed by a customer support representative that it would launch there on September 27. This Samsung representative also said that the new phone will be sold exclusively through retail stores at first and will not be available to order through Samsung’s website. Samsung declined to comment on this.