Samsung Electronics Co. has completed a two-month redesign of the Galaxy Fold to fix awkward screen failures that made it delay, people familiar with the matter state, allowing the Korean giant to debut its marquee smartphone in time for the important holiday season.
The world’s largest smartphone maker is now in the last stages of manufacturing a commercial version but can’t yet pin down a date to begin sales, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be known describing an internal effort. Samsung pulled the device after several announcements including Bloomberg News described problems with test versions, such as screen defects that emerged after a film on the display was peeled off.
Korea’s biggest company is trying to move past yet another product faux pas. It has now stretched the protective film to wrap around the entire screen and flow into the outer bezels so it would be impossible to peel off by hand, said the people, who have seen the latest versions. It re-engineered the joint, pushing it slightly upward from the screen (it’s now flush with the display) to help stretch the film further when the phone opens.
That pressure makes the film feel harder and more a natural part of the device rather than a detachable accessory, they added. The following protrusion, almost invisible to the naked eye, may help reduce the chance of a crease developing in the middle of the screen over time, one of the people spoke.
Samsung is keen to restore its credit after canceling the April 26 launch of the $1,980 device when folding displays on review models showed problems. It had counted on the world’s first mass-produced foldable smartphone to challenge Apple Inc. and extend its lead over Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co. Instead, some models developed issues after little days of use: Bloomberg’s test unit failed to function properly after a plastic layer covering the screen was removed, and a small crack developed at the top of the hinge where the gadget opened.