Samsung pulled its Galaxy Fold launch days before pre-orders were due to go live in the UK after review devices handed out to US media were plagued with issues. While earlier rumours suggested the launch would be rescheduled in July, that's no longer the case according to a company spokesperson speaking to The Korea Herald (opens in new tab).
"If we are running such a media event this month, we should be doing something by now," the Samsung official clarified, "Nothing has progressed since the April delay."
Some had suggested the Galaxy Fold is likely to emerge during the next Galaxy Unpacked event, which is scheduled for August and will see the South Korean company unveil its all-new Galaxy Note 10 series. However, given that "nothing has progressed" in almost two months since Samsung took the decision to pull the handset, it seems unlikely it will make that deadline.
According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Samsung is unlikely to bundle both handsets into the same launch event, as the Galaxy Fold – an expensive handset designed to appeal to those who want the most amount of screen real estate available in their pocket at all times – could cannibalise sales of the upcoming Note 10 – another pricey flagship with an expansive screen designed to enable productivity on-the-move.
In the wake of the initial delay, Samsung officials repeatedly promised to announce the new Galaxy Fold release date "in the coming weeks," ...something that has yet to happen weeks after the first announcement.
However, Samsung isn't the only company that's struggling to bring a foldable handset to market. Arch-nemesis Huawei has pulled its own pliable effort, the Huawei Mate X, ahead of its launch date. The company is being annoyingly vague about why it has taken the decision to pull the handset, revealing only that it's decided to take a "cautious" approach after the issues that have plagued the Samsung Galaxy Fold. However, given that both phones take a very different approach to the folding mechanism, it seems like a strange comparison to make.
Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which folds inwards – keeping its pliable screen stowed away inside the phone when it's not in use and requiring a secondary display to allow users to still interact with the handset when its folded, the display on the Huawei Mate X folds around the outside of the hinge. This is a completely different design to the Galaxy Fold, not least because it only requires a single screen – not two.
It also means the Huawei Mate X can be much thinner, since the flexible AMOLED can be flat against the hinge, whereas the Galaxy Fold needs to leave a small gap for the screen so that it doesn't fold completely flat, which would break it.
"We don’t want to launch a product to destroy our reputation," a Huawei spokesperson told CNBC.
With both of these high-profile foldables missing in action, it's possible the feverishly-anticipated Motorola Razr reboot might actually be the first folding smartphone to hit the market.