Did Samsung fix its folding phone
This Friday should have been a day of triumph for Samsung. On April 26th, the first buyers should hold the Galaxy Fold in their hands and open and fold it impressed. The media should have praised Samsung for its courage and innovative strength: After all, the Koreans wanted to be the first large company to bring a foldable smartphone onto the market.
Had, would, subjunctive. Instead of looking forward to global attention, Samsung is now busy avoiding attention and removing unpleasant reports from the network. On Thursday, the website iFixit removed a so-called teardown of the Galaxy Fold - allegedly under pressure from Samsung, as iFixit writes on its blog.
The repair portal regularly examines whether and how well new devices can be repaired. It publishes detailed do-it-yourself instructions and places the devices on a scale from 1 to 10. The Galaxy Fold received a 2, so it is very difficult to disassemble. Samsung shouldn't care about the lousy repair index. The company is more likely to prevent design errors of the Galaxy Fold from becoming public. In several test devices, of all things, the device's new folding display failed. As a result, Samsung had to postpone the launch of the € 2,000 cell phone indefinitely.
The repair analysis from iFixit was online for two days and during this time it met with "strong public interest", write the hobbyists. They are not legally obliged to take the teardown off the network. However, Samsung put pressure on an undisclosed "partner" of iFixit, from whom the site had received the device. Out of consideration for this partner, it was decided to withdraw the analysis for the time being.
It is unclear what prompted Samsung to take this step. The company has not yet responded to a request. There should actually be an interest in avoiding further negative reports until the Galaxy Fold hits the market. Samsung seems to overlook two things: First, the actress Barbara Streisand demonstrated 16 years ago that the attempt to suppress unpopular reporting usually backfires. The Streisand effect describes the phenomenon that forced deletions or lawsuits have the opposite effect, namely even more attention.
Second, it is difficult if not impossible to completely erase information from the network. Projects like Archive.org protect against server failures and companies willing to issue warnings. The iFixit teardown can no longer be found via the original link, but it can still be accessed at Archive.org and Archive.is. In addition, several media outlets had already picked up on iFixit's findings and are unlikely to delete their articles about them. Finally, media reports like this one about the almost forced deletion are likely to meet with at least as much "public interest" as the original analysis.
The Galaxy Fold brings back memories of the Note 7 disaster
This is not the first time Samsung is trying to suppress negative reports. In 2016, the company asserted copyright claims and had a YouTube video deleted. It was called "GTA 5 Mod - Galaxy Note 7 (Bomb)" and showed scenes from a modified version of the video game GTA. Instead of a weapon, the protagonist carried a Samsung cell phone - an allusion to the biggest disaster in Samsung's company history to date. At that time, numerous copies of the Galaxy Note 7 went up in flames, after all, the smartphone had to be recalled. This not only burned cell phones, but also a lot of money: Analysts are assuming losses in the billions, and the company's reputation has suffered badly.
The farce around the Galaxy Fold is still far from such dimensions. The past few weeks have made Samsung look bad, but financially the PR mishap should hurt less than the recall of the Galaxy Note 7. By the end of the year, Samsung wanted to produce around one million copies of the Galaxy Fold - a fraction of the 291 million smartphones the company has Delivered in 2018.
Samsung has reclaimed all test copies it distributed to journalists. In contrast to the iFixit analysis, the test reports are still online. You paint the picture of an unfinished but promising device. "A hell of a lot of money for a prototype," is located Engadget and describes the Galaxy Fold as "frustrating and fantastic at the same time". It looks similar The Verge, whose tester praised the added value of the foldable display. It is unclear whether and when normal users can try out the Galaxy Fold: Samsung has not yet announced a new date for the postponed start.
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