Samsung announced on Monday that it’s delaying the release of its foldable Galaxy Fold smartphone — which was set to be released on April 26 — as a result of reports from reviewers that their Galaxy Fold review units were breaking after just a couple days.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the delayed launch of the Galaxy Fold is how Samsung could have allowed the Galaxy Fold — a product that we now know wasn’t ready — to actually be launched on April 26.
The reason, according to a Bloomberg report, can be boiled down to Samsung’s attempts to change its image from “fast adopter” to “true innovator.”
Samsung was often accused of copying Apple and its iPhone design in the early smartphone days in 2011. Apple even sued Samsung in 2012, accusing the company of copying its iPhone design. It was then, Bloomberg reported, that Samsung decided to “build an indisputably original product, and set itself apart.”
To be the first to release a foldable smartphone for consumers would have been a significant achievement, and it would have surely set Samsung apart. Foldable smartphones are arguably the biggest innovation in smartphone design since the launch of the iPhone. They allow smartphones to turn into tablets, adding a huge degree of versatility to one of the most important devices in our day-to-day lives.
Samsung said it spent eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, and the company finally revealed it to the world during its Samsung Developer Conference in November 2018 after years of rumors. The company eventually announced the full details of the Galaxy Fold in February 2019 and set a release date of April 26.
Hitting that April 26 release date would ensure that Samsung became the first smartphone maker to release a foldable smartphone for consumers — beating Huawei to market. Huawei also announced its Mate X foldable smartphone in February with a release date in the “middle of 2019.”
Essentially, to be perceived as the innovator instead of the adopter to investors and consumers alike, Samsung may have rushed the release of the Galaxy Fold.
Still, Samsung appears to have learned from a previous wide-scale debacle with the Galaxy Note 7, a dangerously flawed device with which consumers discovered the battery flaws themselves after buying the phone. This time, the company delayed the launch of the Galaxy Fold rather than letting consumers discover its defects.
Samsung is investigating the causes of the Galaxy Fold review unit defects, and it hasn’t set a new release date for the device.