Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, had to delay the launch of its foldable smartphone in April over screen issues Photo: AFP/File

Samsung to launch foldable smartphone after major delay

By Josh Edelson

Tech giant Samsung has said it will launch its hotly anticipated first foldable smartphone on Friday, months after faulty screens forced an embarrassing delay of its release.

The world's largest smartphone maker spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, but had to hold its launch in April after reviewers reported screen problems within days of use.

It was a major setback for the firm, which was hoping to spark demand for its high-end phones with the launch of the $2,000 device, with profits plunging in recent quarters in the face of a weakened market and strong competition from Chinese rivals.

After months of "refining" the Galaxy Fold -- which is ready for use on high-speed 5G networks -- Samsung said it will release the smartphone in South Korea on Friday, followed by select countries including the United States, Germany and France.

The Galaxy Fold has been widely promoted as the "world's first foldable smartphone", while rivals such as China's Huawei have been racing to bring similar devices to market.

Samsung has a history of humiliating setbacks with major products, most notably a worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices in 2016 over exploding batteries, which hammered its reputation.

The firm has also been caught up in the intensifying trade war between Japan and South Korea stemming from World War II disputes.

The row saw Tokyo impose tough restrictions on exports crucial to South Korean tech giants in July, and Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong -- who called the situation a "crisis" -- has visited Tokyo to secure materials.

Lee is currently facing a retrial over his role in a massive corruption scandal that brought down former president Park Geun-hye.

He was initially jailed for five years in 2017 on multiple convictions including bribery, which was reduced to a suspended sentence on appeal, only for the Supreme Court to order a retrial earlier this month.

Analysts say the ruling could pose a serious challenge for Samsung.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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hotly anticipated... ...$2,000 device

Only to Youtubers who are paid by Samsung's PR dept to give their product overly positive reviews!

Most people nowadays are aware of South Korean companies' efforts to influence via paid social media PR made to look like 'random people' have nothing but praise for their products. Meanwhile these same companies are pricing themselves out of a shrinking market, and there are so many other alternatives available that 'innovative' devices like this have no real impact at all.

This device will appeal to no one.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

$2000 is way too much just for a phone. Limited market.

Yesterday, got the wife a new iPhone XR, 64 GB for ¥60,000 with trade-in and some reductions. Happy with that price, wife loves the new phone.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yesterday, got the wife a new iPhone XR, 64 GB for ¥60,000 with trade-in and some reductions. Happy with that price, wife loves the new phone.

I'm a bit of a cheap guy and when my old iPhone 6s battery seemed to be on it's last legs I thought about upgrading or getting a new battery. Got the battery for 1500 yen off Amazon and glad I did. Might get another year or two of decent use out of this old thing now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'd like to get my hands on it and check it out(not a chance of buying it), most phone nowadays do more than people really even need but I am a sucker for new gadgets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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