Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will be available for purchase around the world from September 6, 2019. The release is five months behind the initial date set for launch. The phone maker postponed the April launch following an unforeseen setback.
But Samsung has announced that the Galaxy Fold would be launched tomorrow for interested buyers in Korea, followed by France, Germany, Singapore, U.K., U.S., and more. The announcement shows Samsung has fixed the glitch the first-users experienced in April.
How the phone broke without falling: In April, it was detected by selected tech reporters that the Galaxy Fold worth N712,000 and above could break without the phone falling or hitting any surface. Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman explained that he removed a plastic protective layer, thinking it was one of those removable layers (film or screensaver) that come with most smartphones. This action caused a tear at the edge of the Galaxy Fold, and that’s how the problem started.
Other users (selected media persons) of the Galaxy Fold also made the same revelation and reviews about the foldable phone. This compelled Samsung to postpone its release date of April 26, 2019, informing the public that it would look into the screen problem.
Speaking on the value of the Galaxy Fold, CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics, DJ Koh said in a statement monitored by Nairametrics, “The category-defining Galaxy Fold is a device that defies the barriers of traditional smartphone design. Now, we’re excited to release this pioneering mobile technology, and allow consumers to experience it for themselves.
“Consumers have responded positively to larger screens, and the Galaxy Fold’s revolutionary form factor offers a bigger, more immersive screen without sacrificing portability. This is what we call innovation of new mobile experience in action.”
When Galaxy Fold finally debuts ‘tomorrow, it would come in Cosmos Black and Space Silver, with a 5G-ready option in selected countries.
Market competitors: Samsung isn’t the first phone maker to produce a foldable phone. Little known Flexpai, manufactured by Royole, beat Samsung’s Galaxy Fold to the market in January, becoming the world’s first commercial foldable smartphone.
However, according to CNET, Flexpai was plagued with some flaws, with its promising hardware beset by buggy software that wasn’t quite ready to handle the new design.
But aside from Flexpai, Samsung also has Huawei’s Mate X to compete with. Huawei plans to launch Mate X before the end of 2019. These are the brands Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will be competing with by year end and next.
Buy or Not: This is a new innovation, so be patient to avoid getting your hands burnt. Most of the first rollouts might be test runs, so it’s advisable to wait for post-launch reviews before you invest N717,750 or more on a phone.
How Nigeria’s market will react: Foldable phones are not the next wave in the Nigerian mobile market because of the price and luxury symbol they portray. Though there are luxury phone users like the iPhone generation, the excitement about the iPhone can’t be compared to the wave of the Galaxy Fold.
Samsung users are used to portable smartphones, and this innovation is not strong enough to disrupt the culture. Coupled with the cost and the popular belief that Samsung sells screens rather than phones, these are likely to cast doubt on the interest of smartphone users in Nigeria, where products are relatively on the high side.
The number of smartphone users has grown tremendously in Nigeria as a result of the entry of low budget smartphones (Infinix, Tecno, Nokia and many more) and it won’t grow if all brands decide to phase out the traditional portable smartphone devices for foldable phones which cost about $2000 (N725,000) and more depending on the brand.
But Samsung is one of the largest phone brands in the world, and if there’s one thing that a household name does, it is to sell products. But note that E-commerce platform, Jumia in its 2018 Mobile Report stated that Infinix is its highest purchased smartphone in Nigeria.