A production model of the Samsung Galaxy Fold Tablet smartphone. Photo: dpa via AFP / Simon Nagel

The world’s top seller of smartphones is going through yet another epic flop. Fortunately for Samsung, this time its devices are not exploding. What had been envisaged as a revolutionary phone, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, was scheduled to be officially released on Friday. But after reviewer after reviewer found literal folds on the device’s screen, the company was forced to delay the launch.

“While many reviewers shared with us the vast potential they see, some also showed us how the device needs further improvements that could ensure the best possible user experience,” the company said in a statement.

“To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold. We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks,” it went on.

The statement was apparently in reference to reviews by CNBC and The Verge, both of which found the screens malfunctioning during what they said was normal use. A series of other reviews noted that removing what looked like a removable screen protector also caused the screen to break. In those cases, Samsung dismissed the problems as user error, saying that the protective layer was an integral part of the screen.

The fact that so many outlets saw the severe defects so quickly raises alarming questions about Samsung’s quality control, even taking into account that the first-ever foldable phone was bound to have first-generation quirks.

Samsung’s fast-rising competitor, Huawei, has generated a great deal of hype for its foldable offering, the Mate X, which is slated to be released in June.

Earlier this year, reviewers were allowed to handle the Mate X and noted that its design allowed for a more visibly attractive device than Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. But the Huawei version also comes along with questions about the durability of a soft plastic screen.

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