Update – Samsung South Africa has clarified that while the media launch of the Galaxy Fold will occur in May, the official date of the device’s commercial availability will be announced after this event.
Samsung’s foldable smartphone has had a bit of a rocky start, but it is still set to launch in South Africa.
The Galaxy Fold began rolling out to reviewers last week, and these users almost immediately began encountering problems with their devices.
A number of reviewers tried to peel off what looks like a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold’s display only to find that attempting this completely breaks the display.
The film on the screen is not a protector at all but rather an integral part of the display, and attempting to peel this off can easily damage the foldable panel.
Launch delay and investigation
Following these problems, Samsung delayed the international launch of the foldable smartphone and issued a proactive statement regarding the initial problems with the device.
“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.
“To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold.”
The company said that reported issues with the display could be due to impact on the top and bottom of the hinge area.
“There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.”
“We will take measures to strengthen the display protection,” Samsung said. “We will also enhance the guidance on care and use of the display including the protective layer so that our customers get the most out of their Galaxy Fold.”
Availability and pricing
Speaking to MyBroadband at the launch of the company’s 2019 QLED TV lineup in Johannesburg, Samsung South Africa CEO Sung Yoon said that the Galaxy Fold is still on track for its launch in South Africa.
“We plan to launch the device in mid-May 2019 and will keep local customers informed of availability,” Yoon said.
The device is expected to be shipped in very low volumes and will be considerably more expensive than standard flagship devices such as the Galaxy S10 and S10+.
Yoon told MyBroadband that the Galaxy Fold would be priced at around R45,000 when it lands in South Africa, and stock of the device would be very limited.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold will also be bundled with a unique service offering which will offer repairs, replacements, and many other services under certain conditions.
More information about the launch of the Galaxy Fold in South Africa is expected to be revealed next month.