The Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally making its debut after its original release date was postponed due to screen glitches. Picture: REUTERS/STEPHEN NELLIS
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally making its debut after its original release date was postponed due to screen glitches. Picture: REUTERS/STEPHEN NELLIS

Seoul/San Francisco — Samsung Electronics has announced its Galaxy Fold will go on sale on September 6 in its home market of South Korea, following a months-long delay caused by the discovery of a defect in the original design.

The Galaxy Fold, a $1,980 luxury Android device that opens like a book, was originally scheduled to go on sale in April, but it was delayed after multiple early tests, including those from Bloomberg News, found the screen to have severe reliability issues. Samsung said in July the phone would relaunch in September, but it had not provided an exact date.

People familiar with Samsung’s plans indicate that the Galaxy Fold will be launched in the US on September 27, and Samsung itself lists the US market as one of its expansion geographies after the Korean launch, alongside France, Germany, Singapore and the UK.

In South Korea, the Galaxy Fold will be offered in only one configuration — with 512GB of storage, 12GB of RAM and fifth-generation cellular connectivity — by SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus. South Korea’s carriers said the sticker price for the Fold will be 2.39 million won (roughly equivalent to the $1,980 US price) with a bundled free Montblanc luxury case. 

Samsung’s first foldable device is arriving on the market mere days ahead of Apple’s 2019 iPhone refresh. That puts it up against formidable smartphone competition, however Samsung’s pitch for the product is that it defines its own new niche. Featuring a 7.3-inch internal flexible display, a smaller screen on the outside and app continuity between the two, the Galaxy Fold is an attempt at crafting a tablet device that fits into the space of a somewhat thick phone.

Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Samsung is already working on a new foldable phone for 2020, which collapses down to a square clam shell. Smaller, thinner and cheaper than the Galaxy Fold, that second device is likely to have wider market appeal than the distinctly exclusive and high-end Fold, however Samsung’s future plans for the foldable category are said to hinge on reception to the Fold.

Bloomberg