Samsung’s long-awaited first foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, will go on sale from September in selected markets after screen faults delayed its launch earlier this year.
The South Korean tech firm is hoping its highly anticipated foldable phone will revive flagging smartphone sales.
However, the device’s roll-out has been hampered by defects in samples that were reported in April, when the Fold was originally due to hit the US market.
The delays cost Samsung sales that could have provided a decent bump in revenue during the slow summer season.
In a statement, the firm said that details of the Fold’s availability would be released closer to the new launch date.
Samsung said in a statement that it had made improvements to the nearly $2,000 (R28 349) phone and was conducting final tests.
Changes included strengthening the device’s hinges, which early reviewers had found to be problematic.
‘Samsung has also been continuously working to improve the overall Galaxy Fold user experience, including optimising more apps and services for its unique foldable UX,’ the firm said in a press release.
Analysts said headlines about glitches experienced with sample Folds would dampen consumer excitement around the launch.
‘Consumer confidence in Galaxy Fold has significantly deteriorated. If Samsung manages to sell 300,000 devices this year, that can be a decent performance given the delay,’ said Kim Young-woo, an analyst at SK Securities.
Samsung said earlier that it planned to make at least one million Fold handsets in the first year, versus the total 300 million phones it produces annually on average.
The world’s top smartphone maker has hailed the folding design as the future in a market segment that has seen few real surprises since Apple’s groundbreaking iPhone was released in 2007.
Chinese rival Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X, which is also expected to go on sale in September.
Samsung is still in talks with mobile carriers around the world to decide on details of the Fold’s sale, a source with knowledge of the matter said.