After years in development and wishful thinking, Samsung finally officially announced its first foldable smartphone earlier this year. The handset, the Galaxy Fold, was meant to be a summer launch, but delays struck Samsung’s first attempt at changing the smartphone industry again.
Samsung’s most recent launch window was “sometime in September”, but with no exact dates to circle on the calendar back in July when it announced the latest batch of delays for the foldable handset. Now, almost a week into September, Samsung has confirmed a round of release dates for the Galaxy Fold — just not for the United States.
Samsung says (via The Verge) the Galaxy Fold will launch first in South Korea on Friday, September 6. So no real warning there for potential customers in that neck of the woods. Looking beyond that, on Wednesday, September 18, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will launch in Germany, France, Singapore, and in the United Kingdom. In a separate announcement, Samsung says the Galaxy Fold will launch in the U.S. “in the coming weeks”.
Meanwhile, for folks in the United States who want to fork over the cash for Samsung’s first foldable smartphone, rumor has it that it will arrive on September 27. But that has not been confirmed just yet.
But, that’s not all the relatively bad news for U.S. customers. The company is also canceling all original pre-orders made for the foldable smartphone for U.S. customers. The company says this is meant to make sure that those who did pre-order have “the best possible experience” with the “revolutionary new technology”.
Here’s Samsung’s statement on that:
Ensuring that you have the best possible experience with this revolutionary new technology is our top priority. We are taking the time to rethink the entire customer experience – from purchase to unboxing, to post-purchase service – so in the meantime, we have, regrettably, decided to cancel your existing pre-order. While not an easy decision to make, we believe this is the right thing to do.
However! If you did get your existing pre-order for the Galaxy Fold cancelled, Samsung is giving you $250 to use on its online store. Which means you could just use that money to get back into the pre-order queue if you wanted, or spend it on something else Samsung-branded you might want.
Samsung is also announcing something called “Galaxy Fold Premier Service”. The company is not going out of its way to detail what that is, exactly, but says it will provide “direct access to Samsung experts who can provide you tailored guidance and support over the phone any time, any day. This includes an optional one-on-one onboarding session”.
That new service is actually included with the price of the Galaxy Fold, so owners won’t have to fork over even more money to get it.
Samsung’s initial design with the Galaxy Fold led to some issues with usage, with early reviewers of the handset removing what was apparently a protective layer off the display, and others getting debris stuck within the hinge, and then ultimately under the screen. As such, Samsung had to make some changes, which included:
- The top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.
- Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience:
- The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.
- Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.
- The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.
With the changes in place, it sounds like Samsung is ready to get the Galaxy Fold out there into the world. Are you willing to hand over almost $2,000 to make this foldable phone yours?