Samsung CEO admits Galaxy Fold launch was rushed

DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung Electronics holds the Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone during the Samsung Unpacked event on February 20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Galaxy Fold was "launched before it was ready" and the hardware issues highlighted by tech reviewers with review units was "embarrassing", Samsung CEO DJ Koh said in an interview with The Independent.

Speaking to select media, he admits that the launch of the phone was premature. "It was embarrassing. I pushed it through before it was ready," Koh is quoted as saying.  

Samsung had shown off early prototypes of the Galaxy Fold in November 2018, and unveiled it with the brand name Galaxy Fold on February 20, 2019 at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco, California. The foldable phone, which has a 4.3-inch surface area when folded, transforms into a 7.3-inch tablet sized device through a fold out mechanism that relies on multiple interlocking gears. The device received plenty of hype and attention - Samsung was seen as an innovator launching a new device category. 

However, the Fold's problems with being able to withstand miniscule amounts of dirt quickly became apparent once the device reached the hands of tech reviewers. Some reported flickering screens, other reported growing bulges, while others pulled out a thin film that they thought was a screen protector – a phone killing move. The US launch, scheduled for April 26 was soon delayed indefinitely

This haste in shipping a device that wasn't ready was rooted in its new management philosophy of "change everything", and "do what you can't", another Samsung executive is quoted as saying. 

Koh didn't commit to a launch date for the Fold in the interview, asking for more time. More than 2,000 Galaxy Folds are being lab tested, he is quoted as saying.