Samsung Galaxy Fold has folded for now, and it's unclear how long it'll take to get the device out to the public, but shelving the product forever would be a big mistake.
ZDNet's Jason Cipriani made the argument that Samsung should cancel the Galaxy Fold and start over. Yes, Samsung deserves props for a multi-screen contraption that kicked off the foldable device category. But Samsung has an obligation to admit defeat and go back to the design drawing board, argued Cipriani.
I can't say I totally disagree with Cipriani, but cancelling the Fold for good would be a disaster on the innovation front with so many unknowns. Perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Fold will truly be shelved for good, but for now, it's time to take a deep breath. The Samsung Galaxy Fold situation isn't the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
What really has me conflicted is this fact: It's too early to really know what is happening with the Galaxy Fold. Consider the following moving parts:
- A few review units failed.
- CNET's review unit with Jessica Dolcourt didn't have problems.
- We don't know how widespread the problem with screens is yet.
- Samsung hasn't reviewed its procedures and processors.
- A full supply chain investigation needs to happen.
- And the design likely needs to be tweaked.
Samsung, to its credit, is acknowledging the unknowns:
Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge. There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance.
We will take measures to strengthen the display protection. 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.
Cipriani does make sense in that Samsung is asking a lot for a customer to pay $2,000 or more to be the equivalent of a trendy beta tester. It's not cheap (and sometimes not even smart) to be an early adopter.
Also: Samsung Galaxy Fold: A cheat sheet TechRepublic
Bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Fold problems ahead of what was an April 26 launch date are emotionally charged and potentially too nuanced for major decisions. Samsung has made its best move by delaying the Galaxy Fold. What happens next needs to be based on engineering and facts.