Samsung announced Thursday it will inspect units of its highly anticipated folding smartphone after some reviewers reported screen damage. A handful of US-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model’s official release next week, and they reported screen issues within days of using the devices. “The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gunman tweeted. And Dieter Bohn of The Verge said: “Something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge… It’s broken.” Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the South Korean tech giant’s strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets. “We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter,” Samsung said in a statement after reports of the screen damage emerged. The firm suggested some reviewers encountered screen failures because a section of the display was removed. “The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches,” it said.
“Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.” Some of the reviewers, including Bloomberg’s Gunman, had removed this layer. CNBC’s Steve Kovach said he had not, but still faced major problems with the device. Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device. But despite the recent announcements about its new high-end devices, Samsung has warned of a more than 60 percent plunge in first-quarter operating profit in the face of weakening markets. The firm is also no stranger to device issues. Its reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image. Samsung has said it will release the Galaxy Fold as scheduled on April 26. Its share price was down 2.6 percent Thursday afternoon.