Galaxy Fold debacle nears its end with US launch coming Friday

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Galaxy Fold specs
Despite its problems, the Galaxy Fold is likely a harbinger of many folding phones to come.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s demonstration on the dangers of letting one’s reach exceed one’s grasp is almost over. The Galaxy Fold, the first mass-market phone with a foldable display, will reach US customers’ hands on Friday, many months after first scheduled.

Despite well-publicized problems, this company is already hard at work on a more affordable version. And rivals, including Apple, are also considering flexible screen handsets.

Samsung Galaxy Fold’s trials and tribulations

There was a race on to see which company would come out with the first semi-mainstream folding phone. Clearly, this caused Samsung to rush the development of its offering, because many of the Galaxy Fold units loaned to the press this spring to write reviews failed almost immediately.

This forced the company to delay the launch while the cutting-edge handset was partially redesigned. The hinges were improved, and so was a built-in screen protector.

That process is over. The Galaxy Fold already launched in Korea and Europe, and it will hit shelves in the US on Friday, Sept. 27. The price is still a startling $1,980.

Moving ahead with folding phones

The original Galaxy Fold starts out the size of a typical phone then opens up to be a small tablet. Published reports indicate Samsung is working on a version that starts out as a small square and folds open to display its 6.7-inch screen. The designers are working to make it thinner and more affordable than the first-generation model.

Huawei was also part of the race to get out the first mass-market foldable-screen phone, and had its share of problems too. The Mate X might launch next month after its release was pushed back twice.

Google is also exploring the idea of flexible-display handsets, though it’s staying cautious. Unlike Samsung or Huawei

And Apple isn’t sitting on the sidelines. Last year, it received a patent for a hinge design in a foldable phone, proving the the company is certainly exploring the concept. But the launch of the iPhone Fold might not happen until 2021, or after Corning works the problems out of flexible glass screens.