Oh Samsung, you're not having a good year. After all the hype surrounding the Galaxy Fold, it turns out they're not really up to scratch. Issues with review unit displays forced Samsung to delay the phone's launch, to the point where we don't really know when they're going to see the light of day. It's now at the stage where Samsung seems to be cancelling pre-orders, unless the customer insists that they're happy to still pay £1,800 and risk the issues with the screen.
According to TizenHelp Samsung has emailed customers informing them that they don't really know when the Galaxy Fold will ship, and if they haven't shipped by 31st May orders will start getting cancelled. Unless, of course, the buyer clicks a link in the email to say otherwise. Here's the relevant section of the email (emphasis ours):
We understand you are excited to get your hands on the category-changing Galaxy Fold, and we apologise for the delay. As a reminder, your pre-order guarantees your place in the queue for this innovative technology. You will not be charged until your order ships. If you don't want to wait, you may cancel your order at Samsung.com at any time before it has shipped. If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st your order will be cancelled automatically. If you do not want your order automatically cancelled on May 31st you may request that we keep your order and fulfil it later. If you do request we keep your order and fill it later, you still have the right o cancel the order at any time before we ship it to you.
The Galaxy Fold started experiencing problems when reviewers got their hands on the device, noting issues with the screen and the protective film on top. Some reviewers removed that film, assuming it was a regular screen protector, which ended up making the problem even worse and forcing Samsung to recall them all and delay the phone. The company has never revealed the exact nature of the problems, though iFixit's now-removed teardown posited that there were gaps in the Fold's hinge that could expose the display to dust and other particles. Those foreign particles then damaged the OLED display, which isn't made the sturdiest materials at the best of time.
So the sage continues. Samsung doesn't know when the phone will ship, and it's taking steps to ensure customers aren't expecting them to arrive when they're not going to. Whether the Galaxy Fold will actually make it to market isn't clear, but one thing is for sure - Huawei must be loving all this drama.