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Monday, 29 April 2019 11:42

Samsung shows it has learnt nothing from the Note7 fiasco

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Samsung shows it has learnt nothing from the Note7 fiasco Courtesy Samsung Electronics

South Korean behemoth Samsung Electronics has shown it has learnt precisely nothing from the fiasco of its Note7 device, by putting pressure on a website to pull a tear-down of its Galaxy Fold, after the company had to delay the launch of the foldable phone due to a number of issues.

Last week, Samsung announced that it would delay the public launch of the Galaxy Fold, a device which costs almost US$2000, after there were reports of the smartphone breaking or showing bulges or blinking screens.

The website iFixit, which does tear-downs of devices on a regular basis soon after they are publicly available, had obtained a Galaxy Fold and done a tear-down (archived version here) which found some serious issues with the phone.

Under pressure from Samsung, iFixit then announced that it would be removing the tear-down.

"We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner. Samsung has requested, through that partner, that iFixit remove its teardown. We are under no obligation to remove our analysis, legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold at retail," the website said.

The company suffered an almighty public relations fiasco when its Galaxy Note7 device began spontaneously combusting; it refused to pull the devices off the market in time, constantly offering excuses for what, in the end, turned out to be an issue with the battery.

But memories of that seemed to have evaporated and Samsung has now taken a step which is sure to result in every website in the publishing business giving it a black eye.

Some of the issues that iFixit, a highly respected site, found were quite embarrassing:

"The mechanics involved in the fold are likely to wear over time, causing stress to hinges and display, necessitating eventual replacement," the site said in its final thoughts on the Galaxy Fold.

"The lack of protection and fragility of the main display mean you'll almost certainly be replacing the screen before long—a pricey repair.

"Battery replacements are possible, but unnecessarily difficult—solvents help, but risk damage to the display supports.

"Glued-down glass both front and back means greater risk of breakage, and makes repairs difficult to start."

It looks very much like Samsung wanted to be first to market, ahead of Chinese vendor Huawei, which also plans to launch a foldable device.

But with Samsung's rush to market with the Note7 having played it false, one would have thought that the South Korean firm would have learnt its lesson.

And when things went wrong with the Fold, the wiser option would have been to withdraw it and launch once the issues with the device had been ironed out.

You'd have to really wonder – which PR company is advising Samsung? And is it the same outfit which presided over the Note7 blow-up?

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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