Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Samsung Galaxy Fold to be released on Friday after redesign

The UAE release of the Dh7,273 device is expected in the last week of September

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was due to be launched in April. AP
The Samsung Galaxy Fold was due to be launched in April. AP

Korean tech giant Samsung will launch its hotly anticipated first foldable smartphone on Friday, months after faulty screens forced an embarrassing delay of its release.

The world's largest smartphone maker spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, but had to postpone its launch on April 26 after reviewers reported screen problems within days of use.

It was a major setback for the firm, which was hoping to spark demand for its high-end phones with the launch of the $2,000 (Dh7,273) device, with profits plunging in recent quarters in the face of a weakened market and strong competition from Chinese rivals.

After months of "refining" the Fold - which is 5G ready in some markets - Samsung said it will release the smartphone in South Korea on Friday, followed by select countries including the United States, Germany and France.

The UAE release of Samsung Fold is expected in the last week of September.

The firm will also offer a programme to Galaxy Fold users under which the company would cover 70 per cent of the cost of screen repair once within a year of use.

Samsung Electronics shares closed up 3.6 per cent in Seoul.

The Galaxy Fold has been widely promoted as the "world's first foldable smartphone", while rivals such as China's Huawei have been racing to bring similar devices to market.

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Samsung is still trying to get out from the shadow of 2016's disastrous Galaxy Note 7, which had to be recalled after dozens spontaneously caught fire because of defective batteries, and complaints about the Note 8 battery draining too fast.

The company reported $2 billion in profit loss due to the global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 in the third quarter of 2016.

The firm has also been caught up in the intensifying trade war between Japan and South Korea instigated by Second World War disputes.

Following in Samsung’s footsteps, Huawei also announced its first foldable phone, the Mate X, at the Mobile World Congress in February. In its compact form, the device works as a smartphone with a 16.8cm screen and, when unfolded, it turns into a slim tablet with a 20.3cm screen that is 5.4mm thick.

Samsung Galaxy Fold: The specs

The Galaxy Fold, a phone with a flexible screen, delivers a new kind of mobile experience.

It features the world’s first infinity flex display, at 18.5 centimetres, which folds into a compact device with a cover display.

With six cameras, it is priced at $1,980 (Dh7,273)

Updated: September 5, 2019 02:14 PM

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