The Galaxy Fold has been one of 2019’s most talked-about technology stories, from rumours to launch, the eye-watering pricetag and the widespread failure of review units that saw its release postponed. Despite recent reports that the issues have been fixed, SamMobiles that today suggests that the revised launch strategy might not be as widespread as the original.
According to the SamMobiles report, firmware testing for the Galaxy Fold has been scaled back in some countries, indicating that the device is unlikely to launch there. Such countries include Italy and the Netherlands, but there’s no indication of Samsung’s feelings towards Australia.
Carriers and retailers in those markets may have gone cold on the device following it’s well-publicised issues earlier in the year, or Samsung might be having to choose its launch targets due to production issues.
The company has been directly impacted by an escalating trade war (no, not that one) between Japan and South Korea that’s seeing Japan restrict the export of materials that are used in foldable screen manufacturing, batteries and more.
If Samsung can’t locate an alternative source for these materials, it’s likely to have to make fewer phones. With a phone priced at the Galaxy Fold’s level, they won’t want them sitting on shelves so it makes sense to focus the launch on markets that are expected to move units.
Samsung’s precise (re)launch plan for the Galaxy Fold will become clear … at some point, but we don’t really know when. We’re expecting to hear something about the device at the company’s August Unpacked event when it launches the Note 10, but it feels likely to be a full launch given that event’s already-packed slate.
Update: Just this morning, Samsung has confirmed it plans to re-launch the Galaxy Fold this September, though launch markets have not been clearly identified.