back to article Surprising absolutely no one at all, Samsung's folding-screen phones knackered within days

Samsung’s space-age Galaxy Fold smartphones, which you can fold in half to pop in your pocket, are cracking up after just a few days of use. Good thing these devices aren't on sale yet, and only in the hands of, oh no, journalists to review, who went literally round the bend late on Tuesday in revealing how their on-loan …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

    I'm sure that things will get better in the future but in the meantime...

    There will be lots of comments along the lines of...

    I told you so!

    It took how long before it broke?

    What do you expect, it is Samsung!

    Doh!

    etc etc etc

    TBH, Samsung really do have to look at the reasons why they released this so early when so far it is just not fit for purpose. If the main reason was to beat the competition then they could come to regret it big time.

    Now we wait for the competition from China. Will that suffer the same problems?

    1. djstardust

      Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

      I'm no engineering genius but even I could see it wasn't going to last.

      Another product made for absolutely no reason.

      Remember those ads about Samsung quality control after the Note 7 debacle. Pfffftt.

      Surely they must have tested these with real people before releasing to the journalists?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        The more interesting question is why this didn't happen during Samsung's testing. Possibilities include:

        - a difference between the testing and real world use, i.e, variations in temperature, dust and grit.

        - a difference in the manufacturing process used for the test units and the process scaled up for the released units.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          I think that they preempted that with “Unfold it for more immersion“ ... meaning that you should have a bucket of water close by in case of battery fire.

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          "The more interesting question is why this didn't happen during Samsung's testing."

          This is the true issue. "Pretty well inevitable for an Alpha version" - the "alpha" version should have never left the company's internal testing facilities. That leaves this as a Beta version that is performing like an Alpha version.

          This is very troubling, very concerning, and seriously questions Samsung's internal testing and QC methods. Sufficient testing should have brought out the problems in both the Fold and the Note 7 prior to release, yet reality shows otherwise. Even those the Fold is a pre-production model it should have faced an internal testing rollout prior to being placed into the hands of a single person external to the company.

          Therefore one must question Samsung's commitment to QC, for it seems to be willing to force customers into being Alpha-level testers. Once is a mistake, twice is beginning to showing a pattern.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            Do we not know how Samsung works yet? It's not Samsung's commitment to QC, it's Samsung's commitment do doing whatever the idiot manager says, including sending out a pile of crap on Tuesday because it has to be sent out on Tuesday.

            1. jgarbo

              Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

              Evidence, sources or just wank?

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

                Knock yourself out...

                OUR FAVORITE KOREAN CORPORATION and Windows Update

                Samsung, bunch of *****

                Tracking your insanity

                And finally, last but most definitely not least...

                Enlightened

                Required reading for anyone thinking of buying a Samsung product.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          I think any portable product design should include one more step immediately after the first manufacturing run is complete:

          Hello engineers. Thank you for working on this product. Here are the first units for you to use. You have to use them for the next two weeks. Be rough on them. Report any failures.

          If the engineers are being too careful still, we'll have to scale it up again.

          Hello engineers. Sorry we arrived unannounced at your house. We just brought along these gifts for your children. When they tell you their gift is broken, please report what happened.

          This will find things never imagined by the people who built the testing machines.

        4. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          And them knowing their product and how to handle it. They should give it to someone who's not seen it before.

        5. Shadowmanx2012
          FAIL

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          The problem is most likely that they "tested" it with people who knew the product and so treated it with kid gloves. This is unrealistic as when it is released into the "wild" it will be subjected to all manner of uses probably most of which were not anticipated by the designers.

          Reminds me of Apples phone wear holding it the "wrong" way caused it to drop phone calls. Except the "wrong" way was how many (most?) people actually used it.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        "Another product made for absolutely no reason."

        On the contrary, the possibility of having a very large screen with a rather smaller form factor is a compelling functionality. The problem is getting it to work well.

        I AM surprised that (a) Samsung provided these to journos without having tested them so thoroughly themselves and (b) they made a film that should not be removed so easy to remove

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          I quite like the idea of a rollable screen, such that many people in the future will be walking around like Roman senators or something.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Roman Senators

            As long as I can wear my toga in public I'm all for it!

            1. Roq D. Kasba

              Re: Roman Senators

              As long as I can *still* wear my toga in public I'm all for it!

            2. jgarbo

              Re: Roman Senators

              Only if it's purple: Diplomatic Immunity.

          2. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Rollable screen

            Earth Final Conflict.

            Also a real sort of roll up Philips phone using an eink type of display. Perhaps not one of Philips better ideas. Tech sold to someone Asian, then Amazon bought and buried it. It's not used in the Kindle.

            Sony also had a roll up eink. Mysteriously not used for rolling up, though the Sony Digital Paper (for PDFs, not ebooks) is reputed to be plastic.

            In theory AMOLED (which are really electroluminescent dots, not true LEDs) can be pretty flexible. The unsolved issue is suitably flexible wiring. Millions of nano sized strands in Litz type cables?

            1. TRT Silver badge
              1. Mage Silver badge
                Devil

                Re: USPTO

                Another example of a totally speculative un-original idea being approved by USPTO as that's how they make money and the philosophy is to keep lawyers employed, the procedure is to bring a court case.

                So the system doesn't encourage innovation or give inventors a head start. It rewards corporates that spend a fortune on patents rather than real R & D (Research, then develop a product), Stifles innovation and locks out small companies.

              2. jgarbo

                Re: Rollable screen

                Apple patented my baby smile at 6 mths. We're still in litigation.

        2. illiad

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          If you want a 'variable size screen', you don't need flexible displays..

          latest tech for TVs mean two separate panes can be put together with a virtually 'invisible' join..

          so no hinge to wear out...

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            > If you want a 'variable size screen', you don't need flexible displays.... latest tech for TVs mean two separate panes can be put together with a virtually 'invisible' join..

            You're talking about Samsung's Micro LED tech (incidently, also being actively researched by Apple with a view to becoming independent from Samsubg for their scteens). However, TVs are placed further from the viewer, so a 0.01mm join between displays ( or pixel misalignment ) won't be visible when viewed from 2m away. To make a join invisible when viewed only 25cm away is much harder. In addition, a mobile device is exposed to more dust and fluff.

          2. Mage Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: 'variable size screen' for TV

            It's called a video projector with a zoom lens. Ideally a motorised projection screen with a motorised Matte frame too.

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        Surely they must have tested these with real people before releasing to the journalists?

        People whose income is derived from keeping the boss happy have an unfortunate tendency to become yes men.

      4. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        "Another product made for absolutely no reason."

        The reason was "it looks really cool". That's all the reason needed for many, many things. The functional reason is so that someone can have a phone sized device, that can also be a small tablet as well, you might not need or want something like that, but reportedly they've sold out of their first stock, so there's plenty of people who think they do.

        You might as well say the same thing about "Why do cars come in more than one colour?", there's no functional reason to have red cars and green ones.

        1. elkster88
          Joke

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          "there's no functional reason to have red cars and green ones."

          Pfffft. As any fule kno, the red ones are faster.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            "the red ones are faster."

            Unless the green ones are BRG.

          2. Donchik

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            Red ones are ripe?

        2. FatGerman

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          > The functional reason is so that someone can have a phone sized device,..

          But it's not phone sized. Because it folds in half it's more than twice as thick as a phone, and that means it's under a lot more stress when put in, say, the back pocket of a pair of jeans and sat on, like I do with my phone all the bloody time. Mine doesn't have a hinge though, so it's fine.

          I think the reviewers must be 'carrying it wrong'.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            "But it's not phone sized. Because it folds in half it's more than twice as thick as a phone..."

            Well, one of my pet gripes is phones becoming unnecessarily thinner for no obvious reason other than spec-willy-waving, resulting in phones that are both less comfortable to hold, and that have smaller batteries than would otherwise fit under their gargantuan screens. Thin+folding means that the folded version sits nicely in the hand.

            1. Roq D. Kasba

              Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

              Especially as they're made out of greased eelskin and so slippy that you need to add a case just to carry them...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            "it's more than twice as thick as a phone,"

            Is it? How thick is a phone? Is there an ISO standard we can measure against?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

              "Is there an ISO standard we can measure against?"

              The RegISO phone thickness measurement standard is in industry standard tits, as in "height of, female, industry standard".

              A modern phone is about 1.0 tit, except the Jesus Phone which is so exciting that the measurement is 0.5 tits.

        3. dajames Silver badge

          "Why do cars come in more than one colour?"

          It makes it easier to find the right one in a crowded car park.

          1. 404

            <point key fob in general direction of car park...>

            <'click click' on remote...>

            <listens for horn...>

            <follows horn>

            Marco Polo for Car Parks...

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Ah, you must live in America. In civilised countries cars don't sound their horn when locked or unlocked.

      5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        Surely they must have tested these with real people before releasing to the journalists?

        I think the journalists *were* supposed to be the "real people" (which was likely a gross misunderstanding/misconception on Samsung's part).

        But seriously, handing devices to people outside your team, people who have no concept of the "expected" usage of the device, is a useful augment to internal testing. There's the old saying "nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool" ('sufficiently talented fool' describes many journalists quite well).

      6. Citizens untied

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        I don't know, the best phone I ever had folded in half. It had two screens! That was a while ago, though.

    2. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

      When you combine alpha versions that are bound to be flimsy and journos who want a story it's pretty inevitable there will be breakages then a rush of "me too's".

      The only surprising thing is that Samsung did not a foresee this.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

        When you combine alpha versions that are bound to be flimsy and journos who want a story it's pretty inevitable there will be breakages then a rush of "me too's".

        Indeed. It's Samsung, so they're a pretty big target for "this new phone is a fuck-up" type stories. There'll have been plenty of journos opening and closing these phones more often than a hookers legs in a blatant attempt to get a broken Samsung story. That Samsung hadn't foreseen this and made a phone robust enough to work is damning.

        1. Persona Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          The only thing I can think of is that they already have a much more robust second version and they plan to release so those journos can report on how much better and stronger it is. …….. yeah I know it's clutching at straws …….

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

          Samsung usually gets a free pass around here unless they really fuck up (e.g. Note pocket bonfires). It's Apple that generally takes a kicking.

          1. Persona Silver badge

            Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

            Low hanging fruit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

    Be so easily able to remove like the protective layer that ships on the screen of pretty much every phone you buy? If it is supposed to remain, use a stronger adhesive so it can't be peeled off without herculean effort!

    What an embarassment for Samsung. I wonder if they even had any real human testing, or rushed it to market without any testing to "beat" Huawei to the punch by a week or two? Hate to say I told you so, but having a machine folding and unfolding a device with identical mechanical perfection tens of thousands of times is not comparable to a person folding and unfolding a device a few hundred times with varying amounts of force and torque.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

      So, if the automated machine bending test is no substitute for real world testing, and real world testing is near impossible to do without letting the cat out of the bag (thus effectively forcing Samsung to announce the product), what would you have done if you were Samsung?

      Tech enthusiasts understand it's a nascent technology and they're the only market for this MK I (or version 0.9, evidently) product. Samsung have tried and failed, true, but nobody has bought one yet and so no consumer is out of pocket. Embarrassing yes, but not massively, not compared to the Note 7 battery malarky, the Pixel screen palaver, the LG bootloop issue, i.e released products.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

        First, I bet there are plenty of Samsung execs in Seoul whose careers depend on not letting cats out of bags. They had plenty of people who could test it, and plenty of locations where there would be no pesky visitors.

        Second,I'm going to speculate that face had an awful lot to do with this. Someone very high up in management wanted this - and didn't want to hear about any problems, so he didn't hear about any.

        Now, of course, he's going to be downsized - and everybody else was simply following orders.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

          Well, let's just wait til Huawei's device gets released to journalists and its outwards facing plastic screen gets scratched. There is less embarrassment in failing to do something that no one else has done successfully than there is in screwing up something that should be easy (again, Note 7 battery, Pixel screen, LG bootloop). Even less embarrassing if it doesn't affect any paying customers.

          Race is on for Samsung to tweak their laminations and Corning to release their Gorilla glass with a 5mm minium bend radius (as they've stated as their aim)

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

            I predict that Huawei will now announce a delay.

            As far as I know, the only material that will withstand this kind of frequent flexing over a long period is good quality leather. And possibly book bindings.

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

              Actually, my bar of solid stainless steel does pretty well - it attracts fingerprints but is reasonably easy to clean... And I am sure two of them could be put together with a decent hinge.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                Magnets! Two very thin phones that join together by magnetic force and can talk to each other by radio or even some clever arrangement of contacts. And if the battery goes in one half, you still have the other half that works. What was that little cube thing with the stick figures that lived inside it that would visit each other?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                  Oh great. Something ELSE to lose...

                  1. vtcodger Silver badge

                    Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                    Oh great. Something ELSE to lose...

                    How can you lose it? It has magnets. Just slap it on the fridge when you aren't using it.

                2. Tony Jarvie

                  Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                  Cube World? I've got some of these at home, my wife got them for my birthday one year. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cube-World-Slim-Scoop-I5039/dp/B000BFORIK

                  1. TRT Silver badge

                    Re: Cube World

                    Those are the ones! My kids had loads. Wonder what happened to them all?

                3. John Sturdy
                  Boffin

                  Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                  Or even make an ordinary phone with magnetic (or tongue-and-grooved) sides and a screen that goes right to the edges, then with suitable software you could tile any number of them together for the screen size and layout you want.

              2. ibmalone Silver badge

                Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

                Stainless steel doesn't flex well, most metals are subject to work-hardening (and finally cracking), a hinge of course is something different (and also subject to wear, but much longer than the lifetime of the average smartphone).

                I think spider silk might be another candidate here. Just need to teach them to spin much faster.

      2. Black Betty

        Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

        A few tech enthusiasts perhaps. However, the majority of tech enthusiasts also tend to be a little leary of first release tech, for the simple reason that they are knowledgeable enough to know that real world bugs tend to crop up in the initial production runs.

        My betting is on most of the early uptakers being alpha males with too much money who have a psychological need to be first to show off how much superior they are to us common mortals.

      3. fobobob

        Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

        0.0.9 might be more appropriate here... I certainly appreciate the capabilities that this provides, and have a strong liking towards thicker phones, but I feel like I'm going to need to wait 1-2 years before the issues are resolved to a point where such a device will survive the terrible environment that is my pockets. I never leave home without my Pocket Sand (tm).

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

          "I'm going to need to wait 1-2 years before the issues are resolved to a point where such a device will survive the terrible environment that is my pockets."

          It'll probably be that long before the price drops enough to make it affordable for most of us. I mean TWO GRAND for a phone? I'd love one, but can wait.

          1. fobobob

            Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

            That is another big issue; while I could afford to buy one, I could not possibly bear the cost of replacing it on my own dime, even once. I would love to see these flex displays get to a price point at which they can be considered disposable, but I suspect that's unlikely for a decade or more.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dave 126 - what I would do

        Have Samsung employees carry them around for internal only testing. People would spy them in the wild and post photos to Twitter and hype would build.

        That way Samsung gets to identify the problems without charging $2000 for customers to be pre-alpha testers and getting egg on their face when review units sent to members of the press fail within a day or two.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

        "Embarrassing yes, but not massively, not compared to the Note 7 battery malarky, the Pixel screen palaver, the LG bootloop issue, i.e released products."

        I wonder just how many review models have been handed out? I've seen the story reported in a few places and everyone seems to be quoting the same half dozen reviewers failed devices, at least one (or two?) were caused by the reviewer pulling the protective film off.

        It's not a good, but I do wonder what the actual failure rate is (and how that might be affected by a better protective film/better user info on not to remove it)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why would a layer you aren't supposed to remove

      "If it is supposed to remain, use a stronger adhesive so it can't be peeled off without herculean effort"

      And put a real removable layer on top of it.

  3. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Folding was ever a problem

    Even before bendy screens, the only mobile phones I have had mechanical problems with are those that fold: some old Nokia clamshell, and the N97 mini which I would have loved to keep on using, but the buttons and the touch features of the screen side stopped working, which made it unusable (some connection problem probably).

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Folding was ever a problem

      Indeed, my first mobile phone was very nearly a Motorola StarTac,.... but the good lady in the mobile phone shop asked me a few questions, showed me a few reviews and specs, and I came out with a Nokia 5110.

      The clamshell StarTac would occasionally become unhinged it seems, whereas all these years later, I still have the Nokia.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Folding was ever a problem

        I had a fabulous Casio calculator that had a fold over case with a keypad on the inside of the cover doing scientific stuff and hex/oct/bin etc. Loved it, but the fold spine eventually split longitudinally top and bottom and eventually exposed the ribbon cable.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: Folding was ever a problem

          Mine too, a strip of black insulating tape over the hinge and the thing still works perfectly.

          1. Fading Silver badge

            Re: Folding was ever a problem

            Mine died :( loved that calculator. Still have my working fx-7000GA from my A-levels (many many years ago).

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Folding was ever a problem

              Found the the model was Casio FX-451, they are on Ebay for between £30 and £60 depending on condition. Tempted.

              1. Justin Case
                Windows

                Re: Folding was ever a problem

                I have both the fx 450 and fx 451. The 451 works better in low light. Plus it's a bit faster calculating 69!

                Those were the days. When a scientific calculator could satisfy my technological yearnings. They must be around 35 years old. Where'd the time go?

              2. JimboSmith Silver badge

                Re: Folding was ever a problem

                The SW/MW/LW/FM Sony SW100 radio which is cassette box sized had a problem with the original design. The ribbon cable that went between the two halves got pinched by the case and would eventually break. In the second version they notched out a space in the frame to prevent this. The radio is exceptional giving full SW coverage and all the other bands in something so small. There was another issue with the battery door assembly breaking because the negative contact spring was too powerful. That one was easily fixed by the use of a rubber band. However I've got two of them and one goes with me whenever I travel.

          2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Folding was ever a problem

            FX-451 - Loved mine to bits bought for C&G 224 in 1986 & it lasted me through my HNC, it was still intact, but I'm not sure where it is, sadly I suspect the ex Mrs Oncoming Scorn disposed of it after the house sale.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CC55HM8nCs

            1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Folding was ever a problem

              Just found it among all the crap I'm sorting out for garage sale tomorrow, the vinyl is a little worse for wear, but still intact & working.

        2. David Nash

          Re: Folding was ever a problem

          Me too, but it didn't break. Great calculator for A-levels, back in the day.

          1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

            Re: Folding was ever a problem - FX451

            Bought mine as a student in 1986 - the folding spine only expired a couple of years ago, so it stills works for basic functions. Nothing remotely close on the market to replace it with these days.

            My previous calculator from the early 80's (school years) ran on 2 AA battiers for a year or so, the FX451 ran on solar cell and a button battery - giant leaps in technology in such a short time. Todays technology progress seems so slow by comparison.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Folding was ever a problem - FX451

              > Nothing remotely close on the market to replace it with these days.

              Agreed. I find it ironic that phones have gone from thick to far too thin; whereas Casio calcs went from thick (AA batteries) to perfectly sized (the 451) to garish, play-doh colours and compulsory large oval cursor key.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a clue here

    To why Microsoft ditched their folding screen device. Still, for less than 2grand, seems like a bargain to be at the cutting edge for a week

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: There's a clue here

      MS's Courier was two screens in a clamshell configuration. No more inherently fragile than a conventional laptop or Nintendo DS.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: There's a clue here

        I'm surprised why phone makers aren't going for that type of design. Phone screens bezels are pretty tiny nowadays, surely they can come up with a way to have zero bezel on at least one edge. Then you could have 2 screens in a hinged case that can come together as one seamless screen. Some clever case design and you could fold it both outwards to use the screens, inwards to protect them or clip the screens together seamlessly* to make one big screen.

        * that 'seamlessly' would be the one really tricky bit, but surely no more tricky than trying to get a screen to fold thousands of times without damage.

        1. Greencat

          Re: There's a clue here

          Line of suitably tough sticky tape would do it.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: There's a clue here

            So, gaffer tape?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There's a clue here

            That sounds pretty much exactly what they’ve done! Peel back the “not supposed to be removed” tape and by all accounts you seem to end up with two screens, one or both of which may no longer be fullly functional.

  5. N2 Silver badge

    Remind me...

    Something about never buying version one of anything?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Remind me...

      I guess that you have never paid for Windows then? Windows 10 is just Public Beta Version 10.

      ducks to avoid incoming...

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Remind me...

        Beta

        Are you sure they got that far?

      2. Andrew Heenan

        Re: Remind me...

        Heck, don't be hard on M$.

        It's only been the best part of 30 years since Windows, fully formed, appeared to Gates in a dream.

        1. DJV Silver badge

          @Andrew Heenan

          No, that was Microsoft Bob.

          1. 404

            Re: @Andrew Heenan

            Back in the long ago I thought Bob was The Shit... Also liked OS/2 Warp but there I go again...

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

    Samsung lost me right there. $2K...FOR A PHONE!!???

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

      Well, $2K for a tablet that fits in a trouser, rather than a jacket, pocket.

      Still, 2K buys you an iPad Mini and a really nice jacket to keep it in. Or an iPad Mini, a pretty nice jacket and a reasonable laptop.

      I mention the iPad Mini because Google have largely given up on Android tablet software, focusing on ChromeOS and Fuschia instead. That said, these Samsung Fold devices have apparently been Google's test bed for incorporating features in Android that allow apps to move around on multi-screened devices ('continuity').

      1. PerlyKing Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Fuschia

        Off topic, but couldn't Google have picked a name that's easier to spell? What's next, Google Gauge?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Fuschia

          Even garden specialists who should know better get this one wrong. Plant and (AFAIK) OS ar Fuchsia.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Fuschia

          "What's next, Google Gauge?"

          Based on what we regularly see here, codename Rogue/Rouge will be next :-)

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Fuschia

            ... and led/lead!

      2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        Still, 2K buys you an iPad Mini and a really nice jacket to keep it in. Or an iPad Mini, a pretty nice jacket and a reasonable laptop.

        Google Chromebook (since we're talking Android devices): ~£100

        Huawei Honor 10: £259 (On amazon)

        Decent rucksack: £25

        That means I can pay myself approximately £1,600 to carry a bag with my device in, rather than cramming it in my pocket with my keys. And I get a proper keyboard.

        I think I'm OK with that.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

          What if you're not allowed to carry a bag (think carry-on restrictions like domestic airline flights where they can cost) or certain worksites?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

            Jacket with poacher's pocket. Put the rucksack in the pocket.

          2. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

            Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

            What if you're not allowed to carry a bag (think carry-on restrictions like domestic airline flights where they can cost)

            So you want to spend an extra £1,600 on a phone to avoid a, what, £30 carry on charge?

            or certain worksites?

            Do what you do now and live without the tablet. You should be working not playing games or watching Youtube (which you could actually still do as you can still bring your phone). If it is for work, then again do what you do now and have them provide you a Guest workstation if they wont let you bring your own.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

              "So you want to spend an extra £1,600 on a phone to avoid a, what, £30 carry on charge?"

              Yes, because I'm not paying for it. hint, hint

              "Do what you do now and live without the tablet."

              The tablet is required for the worksite. Most tablets these days are deployed for WORK applications.

              1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

                Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

                "Yes, because I'm not paying for it. hint, hint"

                So if you're taking the work device, and you're not paying for the flight, what difference does the carry on charge make?

                "The tablet is required for the worksite. Most tablets these days are deployed for WORK applications."

                So since you can't take a bag in currently, but you need the device, there is already a work-around for this which doesn't involve a stupidly expensive, stupidly fragile phone. So it remains a ridiculous solution desperately in search of a problem.

      3. Avatar of They
        Thumb Up

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        Don't forget the planet computers Gemini and the Cosmo communicator (their latest phone and gemini merged kickstarter) offerings. About a quarter of the price of a folding phone, not quite the tablet screen but a folding device that can pass as a small laptop depending on your needs.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

          Yes, Gemini is my working companion. Nice keyboard, no Android or iOS. One of my best purchases lately.

      4. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        Or an iPad Mini and an iPhone.

        If you go for the most expensive example of each, you will be a bit over, but drop the cellular option on the iPad, as you can tether it to your iPhone, and otherwise go for the most expensive everything, then it comes to $1998.

    2. Woza
      Pint

      Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

      Apple: Let's price the iPhone X at $999

      Samsung to Apple: Hold my beer...

      1. Andrew Heenan

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        Samsung were doomed the day they stopped trying to be Number One at Android, and started trying to be Apple Mk2. Pointless. Now they're neither one thing nor the other.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

      Unfortunately we've already used up the appropriate word for $2k early adopters of this folding glass... glassholes.

      1. Semtex451

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        That takes me back. Wonder if there are still working examples.

      2. vcayenne

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        Biut we can adopt a name for the shenanigans -- folderol.

        I'll get my coat (the one with an Apple mini in the pocket)…

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: At first glance, the $1,980 phone...

        "Unfortunately we've already used up the appropriate word for $2k early adopters of this folding glass... glassholes."

        Arsecracks maybe? (two parts with a crease up the middle)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think I'll stick with my five year old Doro, thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks for telling us.

  8. John70

    Think I'll wait a couple of years until they cracked the problem before buying one.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      'Cracked the problem' Boom! You crack _me_ up : -)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    am I the only one who read 'expansive ... display' as 'expensive ... display ?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I think the pronunciation's the same.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        The Queens English.

        Only if it's the monarchy pronouncing it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Inane

      Anytime you ask Is it only me..?

      It's never only you. Have a down vote for such a hideous cliché

  10. Baldrickk Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Well this

    surprised no-one.

    First gen folding screen, it's always going to be under stress if nothing else.

    It sounds great, but really it's something that's never going to work well the first time out, is it?

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Well this

      "It sounds great, but really it's something that's never going to work well the first time out, is it?"

      Here's the problem: Their first effort breaks in two days. In the UK or all of the EU, the device needs to work for at least two years. (You have to prove the defect was there when you purchased the device, for example as a bad design, materials not good enough quality etc. 'Look at all the other broken devices' would seem enough proof).

      If your initial effort, one that was good enough to give to journalists, didn't last two days, then you have an awful lot of work to do to make it last two years.

      1. robmobz

        Re: Well this

        If it lasts less tan 6 months then they have to prove it's your fault.

  11. Simon Ward

    "You're folding it wrong ..."

    Too soon?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "You're folding it wrong ..."

      Too predictable

      And not just your joke! These things ain't built to last. Mind you, what smartphones are?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're folding it wrong.

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Someone beat you to this boring obvious cliché.

  13. Andrew Heenan

    "Surprising absolutely no one at all, Samsung's folding-screen phones knackered within days"

    Yes, I noticed the Register predicted that in all 35 articles telling us how great it was going to be .... oh wait. You didn't.

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      They were hardly glowing previews!

      Most of the reason I like it here. Cynicism is never disappointed, especially when it comes to such tech as this

  14. hammarbtyp

    It seems to me that a flexible hinge is always going to be weakpoint on the device. Maybe a better solution would be two screen with no bezel that could just slide next to each other. OK, you would have a line where the two meet, but is that any more annoying than a notch?

  15. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Silicon Valley Bubble

    Ed Zitron (whoever he is) says:In reality there’s no way for Samsung to come back from this situation without seriously delaying or canceling the Galaxy Fold entirely.

    I think this tells us as much about the Silicon Valley bubble as anything else. The reports certainly don't look good but if the problem can be identified and fixed (big ifs), there's no reason to suggest that Samsung can't do well with the device. Meanwhile the Valley prepares to launch Pinterest on the stock market. A browser bookmarking service valued at $ 10 bn. Sure, it doesn't have to worry about mechanical failures, but where's the value proposition again? And if that particular unicorn doesn't take your fancy then the VCs have plenty more in their stables for your pension fund manager to invest your savings in.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extremely poor

    Considering their size and budget, Samsung has got to be one of the most ineffective companies when it comes to R&D.

    Slavishly copying the work of others? They've got that down to a fine art.

    Introducing something genuinely new and innovative? It's just not their thing.

    Any fool could tell you that materials experience fatigue when stressed repeatedly. Nobody can cheat physics, least of all Samsung and their ropey R&D team!

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Extremely poor

      "Slavishly copying the work of others? They've got that down to a fine art.

      Introducing something genuinely new and innovative? It's just not their thing."

      So it's all Apple's fault, for not building a foldable iPhone that Samsung could copy.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Extremely poor

      Samsung has got to be one of the most ineffective companies when it comes to R&D.

      It has a very impressive track record across a whole range of industries. The company can be criticised for many things but R&D is one are where it's generally considered to have an excellent record.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Extremely poor

        The company can be criticised for many things but R&D is one are where it's generally considered to have an excellent record.

        So explain how they've managed to release a $2k phone that breaks after 1 day?

        It would almost be forgivable if they were a start up on a shoestring budget, but for a company that spent $15 billion on R&D in 2017 and is 3rd in the world for such spending? Give me a break!

        I'm afraid reality is not quite matching up with your claims there Charlie.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Extremely poor

          So explain how they've managed to release a $2k phone that breaks after 1 day?

          In a world where you still never see an iPhone without a knackered screen, how is it you find this so hard to comprehend? I've had a mobile phone for 21 years and I've never had a broken screen, or an iPhone. I can see the pattern there, but apparently the fanbois think a working phone is less important than one with the right logo on the back. Reliability then, may be overrated.

          I wonder what percentage of these phones have failed? I'm guessing it's a design flaw, but it could be a manufacturing at scale rather than in the lab problem.

          1. hmv Silver badge

            Re: Extremely poor

            You've missed my ancient iPhone3, and iPhone4, which although now sitting in the drawer of old phones did a reasonable job and I didn't break the screen. In fact in all the years of phone usage, I've only broken one phone screen.

            Some people just aren't cautious enough with their devices; not clumsy - I'm clumsy. Cautious.

            1. timrowledge

              Re: Extremely poor

              *My* ancient iPhone 3 & 4 are still working just fine, thank you. No screen issues, nor battery problems, at worst a bit of scuffing around the home buttons.

              I couldn’t comment about old android phones because nobody seems to keep them very long.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Extremely poor

            In a world where you still never see an iPhone without a knackered screen, how is it you find this so hard to comprehend?

            Conventional screens do not routinely break in normal use, let alone after a single day. Manufacturers cannot be held accountable for clumsy/pissed users that drop their phones from waist height onto concrete on a regular basis.

            This Samsung issue, whatever the cause, is very different.

            1. illiad

              Re: Extremely poor

              I think he was talking about people who just show off their phone, and rarely use them fully..

              I have seen plenty of badly cracked Androids, they still work ok - the user cares more about the software than vanity stuff!

              1. David Nash

                Re: Extremely poor

                "I have seen plenty of badly cracked Androids, they still work ok - the user cares more about the software than vanity stuff!"

                Whereas the users who don't care about vanity at all just put the phone in a case with a screen protector and it doesn't break.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Extremely poor

            I’ve had iPhones for 11 years, non have had broken screens.

          4. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: Extremely poor

            In a world where you still never see an iPhone without a knackered screen,

            Hmm... I've owned four iPhones over a period of 7 years. Exactly one has ever had a cracked screen, and that cracked screen was on my very first one, and got repaired in under a week, and all iPhones I've had since then (including the one which had the cracked screen) have had screen protectors precisely because I will never again pay for the repairs on a cracked screen, and I won't use a cracked screen either.

            1. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

              Re: Extremely poor - screen protector

              I tried a screen protector.

              First time I was caught in a rain shower the phone went mental, acting on imagined screen touches.

              Peeled the protector off and sanity returned.

              So a screen protector does have downsides.

        2. confused and dazed

          Re: Extremely poor

          Samsung spend that R&D money on a bunch of industries 7 markets. They are world leader in many things. Mobiles are just the visible tip.

          I've visited their Korean Semiconductor facilities many times and they are a truly impressive company. I wouldn't bet against them - even if it looks like they cocked this up.

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Extremely poor

          So explain how they've managed to release a $2k phone that breaks after 1 day?

          Sorry, but your cherry picking of a single example does not constitute an argument. I'm not defending Samsung over the phone. While I think it's an interesting idea, I along with many others, have highlighted the risks inherent in the design. I also think it's worth withholding judgement for a while.

          However, the phone is not the sum result of Samsung's R&D which covers a huge range of electronic developments: AMOLED screens, CPU design & production, memory chips, batteries, etc. but also in other areas where the Chaebol is active such as healthcare.

          You admit yourself that the company spends a lot on R&D, but why should the effectiveness be judged on a single product?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Extremely poor

      Open up an Apple product, how much of the internals are actually made by Apple, Apple are just an upmarket repackager of other peoples hard work. Parasites come to mind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Extremely poor

        "Open up an Apple product, how much of the internals are actually made by Apple, Apple are just an upmarket repackager of other peoples hard work. Parasites come to mind."

        Utter tosh. Industrial design has always been in-house at Apple and that's the very important part when it comes to having things like phone screens which don't die within 24 hours.

        However, for the last decade they've even designed their own silicon, to the point where their mobile chips are snapping at the heels of Intel's desktop offerings.

        Thanks to extraordinary improvements in semiconductor design, it has been able to shrink the capacity and size of its battery pack, while opening up a significant performance lead over Qualcomm and Samsung.

        Last year Apple extended its benchmark lead over Samsung; in single core tests, the 2015 A9-powered Apple iPhone 6s outpaced Samsung's 2016 Galaxy S7.

        But this year it has simply become embarrassing.

        On Geekbench 4, tests conducted by Tom's Guide show the iPhone 8 is 54 per cent faster than the Galaxy Note 8 (which uses Samsung's own silicon), and the OnePlus 5 (which uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, the choice of many Android flagships). The new iPhone 8 also comfortably outperforms laptops: a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a Dell XPS 13.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/25/apple_has_cpu_cycles_to_burn/

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Extremely poor

          Utter tosh. Industrial design has always been in-house at Apple and that's the very important part when it comes to having things like phone screens which don't die within 24 hours.

          And designing cases that can be turned into Faraday cages at the touch of a finger. Apple has absolutely no input on how screensare made (it regularly runs beauty contests and then drives a hard bargain over volumes) but it does have an impressive mastery supply chain and component QA. But, outside the silicon, Apple has largely being playing technological catch up for the last 5 years.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Extremely poor

        That's ridiculous. Not only do Apple design a lot of the components, but they write all the software that runs on top of those. You can like, dislike, or feel a burning repulsion towards IOS, but if you're going to argue about which phone manufacturers copy a lot of stuff, you might not want to look at the android manufacturers that get all the chips from Qualcomm and all the OS from Google. They just design a case to put them in and write a launcher and a few apps nobody uses. I don't think it's fair to say they just copied someone else's work either; they chose the components they wanted and built a device out of them. It's how electronics work--this isn't art here, where using someone else's work shows that you lack imagination.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Extremely poor

          You cannot take the exception which is the CPU (and now GPU) and state that they design "a lot" of components.

          The correct answer is somewhere off-centre. Apple do indeed work well with industrial and product design etc, and do innovate well in this space.

          However they don't do very much silicon barring some exceptions. No they do not write all the SW driving that silicon. They usually promise volume to suppliers and have them do the integration. Ask someone from Imagination.

          What they indeed do very well is UI integration and user experience which is much further up the stack than drivers. And this I grant you they do exceptionally well - I'd argue bar none.

          For the silicon they actually design, all I see are custom optimisations of technology that other vendors have proven or matured with their money. No *new* technology innovation has come from them, lots of very well done technology polish. And that isn't surprising, their r&d spend is amongst the lowest. Most of their in house grown features (not supplier sourced) are no-shows or poor - AirPower, Siri,

          Not all the chips with an Apple logo are theirs - most are custom orders from other vendors. The cpus, gpu and airpod bluetooth are their inhouse designs. Of which the cpu is based from Arm tech, the gpu well was basically figured out from Imagination (apple wanted source code access).

          Ultimately it is what you think the bar is to be called "innovative". The first person to make a fire was innovative, the one who copies it and then maybe used dry leaves too, sure improved things, but if you had to pick between the two?

          Getting a benchmark leading cpu score by using +20% the die area isn't innovative, they just amortise that by moving the process node and putting it on premium tier to offset the cost. Their gpu real estate is massive.

          Now if they did that with the same die area - indeed very innovative.

          As to your point of vertical integration in Apple versus the ODM model elsewhere, well it keeps prices down so I'm not sure what the loss is. The stuff still ends up in my hands for less.

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Aynon Yuser

            Re: Extremely poor

            Oh dear

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Extremely poor

            Well below Register commentard standards there. Should save those kind of comments for The Guardian.

  17. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Well

    I was going to have a go at them for thinking they could moan about it after peeling off the protective film that the instructions tell you to leave on.

    Ok, ok I know people will assume its removable as they can be confused with the factory fitted protected film. But you are a REVIEWER of a device that incorporates new technology. You really dont think you should have read the instructions first? Thats part of the review process isnt it?

    If I was suddenly given a flying car I wouldnt assume I could jump into it and drive about, then discover I was supposed to fold the wings in first.

    Samsung now know their testing dept need to be told how to think like a person who does not know what dead trees are used for, then they could put a DONT REMOVE ME sticker on it :)

    Anyway, the fact that this film does not prevent the failure when left on the device suggests that samsung could do with employing testers that actually know how to use a phone day to day and have them use it as their main personal phone for a whole month with the reward of being allowed to keep it ;)

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Well

      "Anyway, the fact that this film does not prevent the failure when left on the device suggests that samsung could do with employing testers that actually know how to use a phone day to day and have them use it as their main personal phone for a whole month with the reward of being allowed to keep it ;)"

      No, have them use it for a month as their main personal device, and if they break it, they get another for testing, and a nice reliable phone to keep as the reward.

      It looks like someone told the testers "test it, but if you break it, we take $1980 out of your salary".

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Well

      Samsung now know their testing dept need to be told how to think like a person who does not know what dead trees are used for, then they could put a DONT REMOVE ME sticker on it :)

      That may confuse some tech journalists, who'd then complain they couldn't read/use the space under the sticker.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Well

      "But you are a REVIEWER of a device that incorporates new technology. You really dont think you should have read the instructions first? Thats part of the review process isnt it?"

      If the film looks removable then there's a good argument for the reviewer trying to remove it on the basis that a proportion of the punters will try to. That's part of the review process.

  18. JimmyPage
    Stop

    "Spazzed" ?

    Sorry, is this 1979 or 2019 ?

    1. illiad

      Re: "Spazzed" ?

      or did he mean 'spaffed' ?? :D :D

    2. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Re: "Spazzed" ?

      I see the name Jimmy Page?

      Is this 1969 or 2019??

  19. juice Silver badge

    Keeping up with the Joneses

    This was always more about staying ahead - or at least keeping up with - Huawei and Apple. And when you're in a rush to be the first across the line, quality is usually the first thing to suffer.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they shouldve etched an apple on the back of the phone and the journos would've loved it. despite the flaws.

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Rotten Fruit Stall

      I don't think you should trust journos who are like that!

      Fortunately El Reg don't seem to automatically love The Fruit Company's rotten produce... And when they do, us commentards make up for it!

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Rotten Fruit Stall

        It could have something to do with Apple boycotting reviewers who are mean about their kit. Ask El Reg the last time Apple sent them a review device...

  21. andy 103 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Maybe it's not possible

    "I want something as small as a phone but with the capabilities of a tablet." - Uninformed people

    Ok, here's a phone, and here's a tablet. 2 separate things here.

    I don't understand why people think it's possible to make some kind device that satisfies wildly different criteria. That's like asking a TV manufacturer to make a 70" TV that can be scaled down so you can take it on holiday. Why? Just buy the actual devices you need and use them in the appropriate situation. There's a reason nobody has managed to achieve this "one device that does everything" bullshit that people seem to think is "a thing".

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: 70" TV that can be scaled down so you can take it on holiday

      A projector?

      Mind a small one is VERY dim at 70".

      Also with now 42" 4K smart TVs cheap, why can't I get a decent projector with motorised 3:1 zoom for same price. Need not be 4K, but better than 1920 x 1080 would be good.

      1. andy 103 Silver badge

        Re: 70" TV that can be scaled down so you can take it on holiday

        A projector?

        That's the point though. A TV and projector are not like-for-like interchangeable things.

        One device is better suited to certain things than the other, and vice versa. This is exactly the same thing as people who want a phone that also acts as a tablet, which they are used to being a laptop/desktop replacement as well. It doesn't work.

    2. Matt_payne666

      Re: Maybe it's not possible

      I'd like a telephone that I could also use as a camera...

      Well, that's just madness... thats two wildly different useage cases! here have two separate devices...

      I think extendable screens will be great and with any luck reliable and cheap enough in the next few years... A Psion 5 sized device with a fold out keyboard and 12" screen would make for an excellent tool.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "You're just folding it wrong"

    ^ first.

  23. Nupurvaidya

    Samsung should delay their launch and rectify all the problem faced by the reviewers as this will be a huge setback for the Samsung's brand name while taking the device's price into account.

  24. BGatez Bronze badge

    Do we really need ANOTHER reason for f**kwits to bash into you while bumbling down the street?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      They wouldn’t bash into you if your were looking where you were going.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        It depends. They might bash into the point of your shoulder or your elbow. Or maybe a brief-case carried at gonad height. You have to look where you're going fairly carefully to achieve that.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          You play rugby or hockey, don't you? I've lost count of the 'accidental' meetings of gonads and sticks or pucks or rugger balls that I've seen.

  25. notavailable

    Why Inner Fold?

    From what I can see, all the proposed phones with "foldable screens" tend to go 2 directions.

    Inward or Outward Fold. Inward mostly being Samsung and potentially Motorolla, outward being everyone else.

    This if anything to me proves that the small angles expected by consumers *do not* work for these foldable screens on the inner edge. Samsung literally had to fudge the numbers with that strange "innovative" hinge that doesn't reach complete closure. Still that is too narrow an angle for the edge to handle apparently.

    The Xiami prototypes we've seen and pretty much all other prototypes that've leaked use the outer edge. Might be rough on the screen as a whole (It needs to deal with all the usual backings' wear and tear), but definitely an easier edge to engineer for a foldable panel.

    Now the question becomes what do we want, magic folding or lightly scratched screens.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Why Inner Fold?

      Samsung have Inner Fold because only they have the (potential) technology to do it. The inevitably scratchable (until Corning make more flexible Gorilla Glass) Outer Fold phones from everybody else source their panels from a 3rd party who can't achieve as tight a curve (minimum radius) as Samsung can.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why Inner Fold?

      Outward folding with easily and commonly replaceable rubber/silicone/flexible plastic covers? Or a fabric case. I mean, it IS a $2000 phone. So keeping it in a case 99% of the time, then getting it out, gingerly, to look at is not far from the use case. XD

  26. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    This highlights a fatal flaw in the whole concept. Any device with hinges and movable parts will wear out. It's in their nature. Laptops have hinges, and these wear out. Foldable phones are going to be opened and closed far more often than a laptop. The screen is clearly going to suffer from stress as it's opened and closed, possibly onto dirt and debris.

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      I'd expect most phone companies to love that! Look at modern phones and they are increasingly designed to be disposable. Held together with glue, no user-changeable parts, OS upgrades that make the phone run like a turd after a couple of years, etc.

      Introducing another component that has a limited shelf life should suit them nicely!

    2. rcxb Silver badge

      Any device that's under-engineered will wear-out, whether it moves, or not. If laptop makers used hinges designed for submarine hatches, they'd outlast the rest of the laptop. If they included a processor that needed liquid hydrogen cooling systems, it would burn up in your laptop long before the hinges had a chance to fail.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @rcxb

        Yes, but it's pretty difficult to over-engineer a wafer thin piece of flexible plastic, which is kind of what you're stuck with when it comes to foldable screens for smartphones.

        1. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: @rcxb

          You're clearly unaware of all the amazing synthetic materials available, for those willing to pay for them.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Neanderthal

    Please may I play devil's advocate?

    When I go to work on the train, I see "important" wankers doing unpaid overtime on their company provided laptops. And you can tell by the way they try to pretend they are not looking around at other passengers that they "know" they are important. Yeah, right.

    So now I am going to have to suffer these people doing the same on a 2000 quid foldable phone? Long may the phone break so I can have a laugh.

    To be fair, so people can laugh at me, I also get on the train with my MBP, and do work... Nahhh, I just watch a film or listen to Spotify. I only operate a machine in a factory. Which gives me more time for beer.

    Cheers… Ishy

  28. Richard Plinston

    Galaxy Fold

    Why did I keep seeing that as 'Galaxy Ford' ?

  29. rcxb Silver badge

    Nice to see Samsung has reached 1980's Nintendo Game & Watch level technology.

    This of course explains the high sale price. Much like Apple, they need that cash to come up with lots of novel new reasons to deny your warranty claims...

  30. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The dimple in photos of broken phones

    Judging by photos of broken phones, it seems that pressing the middle of a folded phone may cause a slight horizontal fold. Close the phone and that horizontal fold will destructively crush into a vertical fold.

    1. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

      Re: The dimple in photos of broken phones

      Yes, this is known as delamination and is quite common on EL sheet as well as ribbon cables.

      The big problem with OLED panels is that if anything goes wrong it shorts out to the front contact which seems to be what happens in this case: depending on where Samsung put the row/column driver ICs this can be catastrophic.

      Also any damage to the sealed edge layers leads to "creeping death syndrome" as air and moisture get in.

  31. Howard Hanek
    Linux

    Kenny Rogers

    'The Gambler' singing '.....know when to fold 'em.....' keeps reverberating over and over......

  32. StuntMisanthrope

    Next-gen glass and the same as it ever was.

    Super looking forward to new phones when the glass chemistry and production has been optimised. To be honest, I'd say the power of these devices are wasted on journalists, who cannot even read the instructions. Returning to the scale theme again, If a Raspberry PI is fourteen thousand-ish times more powerful than an Apollo Guidance Computer with an inverse box ratio, could this fly you to orbit? #morescrewsplease

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If someone spends $2000 on a phone...

    ...they probably already feel like idiots. Having the thing break 2 days in will just add injury to insult.

  34. Craigie

    Is this not new tech then?

    If you're going to come out with a folding screen you'd think you'd need to invent a new type of screen first, that's robust enough to stand the wear and tear involved. I'm very confused as to why Samsung appear to have not done this then tried to sell it anyway.

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