Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Samsung facing another product launch disaster after new foldable phone breaks

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

LONDON: Some of Samsung’s brand-new folding smartphones, which are due to be sold for almost $2,800 each, appear to be breaking after being used for only a couple of days.

A number of journalists who received the phones to review before their official launch said the Galaxy Fold screen started flickering and turning black before completely fizzling out.

Two journalists said they removed a thin, protective layer from the screens that they thought was supposed to come off, but was meant to stay.

But reporters from The Verge and CNBC said they left that layer on and their screens still broke.

A CNBC video shows the left side of the phone’s inside screen intermittently flashing, while the right side is unresponsive.

The phone was “completely unusable” after two days, CNBC reporter Todd Haselton wrote.

The long-anticipated folding phone is about the size of a standard smartphone when folded, but can open up to the size of a small tablet.

The phone is designed to work whether closed or open — when open, the single-screen display is bisected by a crease.

Samsung promises the screen can withstand being opened and closed 200,000 times, or 100 times a day for five years.

The Galaxy Fold goes on sale on April 26 in the US for $US1,980 ($2,757), making it one of the most expensive phones anywhere — particularly if it isn’t as durable as promised.

In a statement, Samsung said it had received “a few” reports of damage to the main display of samples of its upcoming foldable handset.

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