Imagine you’re a smartphone company working on something for 8 years. Eight long years of following through on advancements in smartphone technology. You pack it in and send it out to reviewers, only to hear that your products are breaking apart for seemingly no reason.
This is exactly the fiasco Samsung is trapped in. Or rather WAS, they’ve now pretty much figured out the culprit behind these smartphone mishaps. And it’s something pretty simple. However, it did leave a lot of heads scratching to find the cause.
A little background about this story:
Samsung launched its groundbreaking foldable phone in early 2019, much to the delight of tech fanatics around the world. While it isn’t the “first” foldable phone (shoutout to Motorola’s flip phones!!!), it certainly is the first of the touch smartphones to be foldable along its screen length. Enthusiasts around the globe were impressed out of their wits. Samsung had done the seemingly impossible and was praised a lot in the launch event.
Since a couple of weeks ago, tech reviewers got their hands on this phone. However, a big problem came in the way: Screen damage. Some of the reviewers experienced screen damage right out of the box. For some, it would work for some time and then glitches would set until the phone ultimately died. The reviewers gathered around twitter spreading their tales of woe.
What really happened:
Did the screen damage really happen for no reason though? Turns out, that’s not the case. Marques Brownlee, a popular youtube tech-reviewer, was one of the people to get the phone and also one to experience the damage. After noticing a trend in many of the review stories, he took to his youtube channel and twitter handle to explain the real cause.
Turns out, the phones come with a thin layer of material that the reviewers pulled out, mistaking it to be a protective plastic screen. As is the norm with review videos, Marcus would go ahead to pull off the interrupting plastic layer. He would only realize sometime later that “something seemed off”. Well, the plastic layer was actually an extension of the screen that helped to keep the display intact. The reviewers had pulled it off, and lo and behold, the screen broke.
A surprise? Now that we know the facts, probably not.
But what about those that started off working and later began to break, or those that didn’t pull off the layer? Well, there’s an explanation to that as well. The layer began chipping(wearing off and peeling) from the sides, even without any external force. The chipping of the layer caused sudden glitches and ultimately death of the poor foldable chap.
Samsung was fast to react to this revealation. While the phones did come with a warning about not removing the layer, it was pretty small and hard to notice. Samsung has made up for this by making the warning much more noticable and stating the true purpose of the thin film. It’s unlikely that such errors will happen in the mass-production pieces though. Let’s just hope for the best.