The big picture: Samsung’s revised Galaxy Fold is scheduled to launch in the US on September 27. The foldable flagship has been overhauled to improve the screen’s durability but it’s the additional requirements / limitations that could end up being the biggest talking point surrounding its launch.
The Galaxy Fold will be available at select AT&T stores, select Best Buy locations and at Samsung Experience Store retail locations. Notably, Samsung won't ship the device to you – you have to go to a retail store to pick one up. Why is that, you ask? So Samsung can have the opportunity to educate buyers on how to properly care for the Fold.
With the Galaxy Fold Premiere Service, Samsung is offering buyers the “opportunity” to consult with a concierge who will “help you explore and grow accustomed to this sophisticated technology.”
This “onboarding experience” is only part of the Fold buying experience. As The Verge highlights, Samsung has packed multiple warning messages inside the retail Fold box (and during initial set-up) to remind you that it is fragile.
Last but certainly not least, Samsung is offering a one-time out of warranty screen replacement for $149 if you purchase your Fold before December 31, 2019.
So, let’s digest all of this for a moment.
Samsung at every avenue is attempting to reduce its liability with the Fold. The company won’t ship the phone to buyers, instead forcing them to pick the device up at a retail store where an employee can have the “opportunity” to show you how to properly use it. The same can be said for the numerous in-box warning messages. And the $149 screen replacement offer is only good for one year, and only if you buy the device before the end of 2019. What does the normal warranty cover?
None of this suggests that Samsung is confident about the product it is about to put out. If you have to ‘go to school’ to learn how to use it, then it’s probably not ready for public consumption. At the very least, if you absolutely must part with $1,980, at least wait a week or so to get some feedback from other early adopters.