Once something is posted to the Internet, it can never truly be erased. Samsung should have thought of this when it asked iFixit to take down its recent teardown of the Galaxy Fold. After Samsung’s explosive debacle with the Galaxy Note 7 in 2016, the brand has a new fiasco on its hand in the form of #Foldgate.
Reports of Galaxy Fold pre-retail units breaking started to emerge a while ago. Tech bloggers and YouTubers alike had the phone’s flexible display malfunction or stop working outright. One of the reasons this screen kept breaking was because of the human tendency to peel things. The Galaxy Fold make use of a transparent layer over its screen which almost looks like a screen protector and even peels off just as easily. Unfortunately, users were unaware that this layer was essential for the working of this screen and peeling it off led to flickering and/or the screen completely dying.
Even if users were cautious and did not peel off this layer, some reported that a gap was forming between this layer and the display precisely where it bends, making it the perfect trap for grit and dirt. There is also the fact that a gap forms between the chassis and the flexible display each time the phone bends. This was confirmed in a recent teardown iFixit performed of the Galaxy Fold. While the majority of the screen is protected with a thin bezel, the point where it folds has 7mm gaps on either side. There is also the spine of the Galaxy Fold which seems to have a bit of space where things can get lodged in.
Samsung ‘Requests’ iFixit To Take Down Its Teardown
Interestingly, about two days after iFixit’s teardown was published online, it got taken down. To be clear, Samsung did not force iFixit to do so but merely requested. In a recent blog post, iFixit clarified that it had received the Galaxy Fold teardown unit form a trusted partner, and that Samsung passed along the request to take down the post via this partner. While iFixit had no legal obligation to do so, it followed through on the request out of respect for the partner. The story is said to come back though, as soon as iFixit is able to purchase a unit on retail, whenever that will be.
Samsung hasn’t yet responded to questions regarding its decision to have the Galaxy Fold’s teardown pulled. The fact that this move takes place mere days after the phone maker announced it would be delaying the launch of the Galaxy Fold raises more suspicion. No matter what the circumstance, a decision like this does not bode well when a product was already amidst controversy. There is also the fact that enough publications had already gone through and published their own stories around iFixit’s teardown. In fact, at the time of writing, the Internet Archive version of the teardown is still up. Samsung’s move has inadvertently led to more attention on this matter, which seems to be precisely what the phone maker was trying to avoid.
The most sensible explanation we can think of for this move is that Samsung will be drastically redesigning the Galaxy Fold to combat the issues that have come to light. How well the new internal changes will hold up is something we look forward to seeing. We just hope the brand does not can the product altogether.