Samsung chief executive takes blame for failed Galaxy Fold launch
DJ Koh: "It was embarrassing. I pushed it through before it was ready."By Cal Jeffrey
Cutting corners: Samsung has been struggling to get its Galaxy Fold out the door. The foldable phone was stymied when reviewers began to have problems with the screens breaking both from debris slipping inside the fold and from user error. Release of the device was postponed at first, but since has been put off indefinitely.
According to The Independent, Samsung CEO DJ Koh spoke to a small group of reporters saying he was to blame for the failure.
"It was embarrassing. I pushed it through before it was ready," said the South Korean exec.
The exciting new form factor was meant to reinvigorate flagging smartphone sales. A recent study by NPD Group shows that consumers are not interested in picking up the latest devices just because they have a higher resolution camera or display.
Samsung already saw this trend and sought to offer something genuinely innovative, but drastically fumbled the release by trying to beat competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi to market. Koh ultimately attempted to push the launch without having tested the device thoroughly. Now the company is trying to rectify its mistake.
"Our brand philosophy is 'do what you can't'. We make what can't be made, and do what can't be done. This [Galaxy Fold issue] is unfortunately sometimes part of this process."
"I do admit I missed something on the foldable phone, but we are in the process of recovery," said Koh. "At the moment, more than 2,000 devices are being tested right now in all aspects. We defined all the issues. Some issues we didn't even think about, but thanks to our reviewers, mass volume testing is ongoing."
Since the pulled launch, Samsung has been playing word games with the press about when the device will be ready to go. Using vague descriptors like "in the coming weeks," the tech giant has teased the public with imminent news on a release. Earlier this month, it claimed the Fold was "ready to hit the market." However, today's report seems to indicate the phone still has some more testing to complete.
While the company has still not hinted at even so much as a vague timeframe, a summer launch does not seem likely at this point. Meanwhile, Koh says, "Give us a bit more time."