The Galaxy Fold, which was originally slated to start shipping to consumers on April 26. A new ship date was not specified, but the company said it would be announced in the “coming weeks.”
"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," Samsung said in a statement. "To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold.”
The hybrid Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch display when folded as a phone and 7.3-inch display when unfolded as a tablet. The new device starts at $1,980, depending on region and carrier, and will come in an LTE or 5G option.
The problem began last week when reviewers for Bloomberg, The Verge and CNBC reported different problems with the breakthrough "foldable" screens (which are actually hinged) on the new Samsung phones.
The Verge's Dieter Bohn wrote that a small bulge on the crease of the phone was "just enough to slightly distort the screen."
"My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen," Bohn wrote. "It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit."
CNBC's Todd Haselton had a different problem with his device.
"A review unit given to CNBC by Samsung is also completely unusable after just two days of use," he wrote.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman had a phone that quickly became damaged. He tweeted: "The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not."
This is incredible. Three separate specimens of a $2000 product breaks within days of being sent to three different reviewers - in three different ways. No matter what happens with replacement units, nor what the explanation, why would you have confidence in the product? https://t.co/sqv76En0S1— Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) April 17, 2019
Samsung is coming to pick up our broken Galaxy Fold review unit. But before they do, I just want to reiterate that we never removed the special film from our review unit. It is fully intact, as these images show. pic.twitter.com/zoeGELWBiN— Todd Haselton (@robotodd) April 18, 2019
This is what the Galaxy Fold looks like this morning, like the damage it’s spreading around. pic.twitter.com/4g57LC9Ng2— Todd Haselton (@robotodd) April 18, 2019
Gurman did say he accidentally removed a protective film on the screen, as did YouTube tech reviewer Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee and Wall Street Journal reviewers. Gurman said he expected that most customers would probably do the same
CNBC's Haselton, though, said his Galaxy Fold stopped working despite having the protective film intact.
Troubles for the Galaxy Fold come at a pivotal time for the mobile phone industry. Smart phones sales have slowed globally as phones become more expensive, and the market has become saturated. Foldable phones were expected to boost the market, and several companies unveiled their foldable versions at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.