Samsung has finally fixed its $2,000 foldable phone — and the solution is jaw-droppingly low-tech.
The gadget-maker’s fix: to extend a thin protective layer that covers the screen enough that it can be tucked behind the display area, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
That minor tweak — along with a reported reduction in the size of a hinge on the folding phone — is expected to resolve glitches that have delayed Galaxy Fold’s launch since April, the Korean news agency wrote, citing industry sources.
Previously, the thin protective layer — meant to keep the phone’s screen together when folded or unfolded — had only gone up to the screen’s edge. That led tech reviewers to peel it off thinking it was a screen protector.
It wasn’t, and reports of major malfunctions quickly spread across Twitter, forcing Samsung to postpone the launch of the $1,980 smartphone a week before it was scheduled to hit stores on April 26.
The phone, which made waves when it was unveiled in February, features a tablet-size, 7.3-inch display that bends, allowing it to fold to the size of a regular smartphone with a 4.6-inch screen.
Techies who peeled off the plastic layer reported blacked-out or flickering screens. Other reviewers said the phones were breaking at their hinges, which will now be made smaller to minimize gaps, Yonhap reported.
The tech giant has also previously said that it will make it clearer on its packaging that the protective layer should not be removed.
Samsung had better hope the fixes work, watchers say.
“Samsung knows that the production models of the Fold must work as advertised. They know they won’t get a second chance,” Shelly Palmer, a tech consultant and business adviser, told The Post.
In 2016, the South Korean phone maker had to recall its Galaxy Note 7 phone amid reports that the device’s batteries were overheating, catching fire and exploding in customers’ pockets.
That recall set back the company a cool $5.3 billion, it has said.
It’s unclear what Samsung stood to lose this time, but when reports of mass defects emerged at the end of April, Samsung had already sold out of its preordered units. It was expected to cancel the preorders and return money to customers if it couldn’t come up with a fix by the end of May.
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