The weirder the tech, the longer you should wait to buy it. It’s a well-worn piece of advice that faded in the smartphone era, as our handheld computers conformed to a rectangular standard and companies like Apple encouraged us to upgrade them every year, as if buying an iPhone X was equivalent to a teeth cleaning. Then the market flooded, and phones got boring, so buying new ones no longer seemed like much of an event. That, along with declining sales, has spurred an innovation race for manufacturers around the world looking to cash in on the next big thing.
Enter Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, a kind of metal and glass taco that could define a new category of personal device — provided the company can get the thing to work. Several tech writers accidentally broke the gadget’s foldable display shortly after receiving review units, which led Samsung to delay the Galaxy Fold’s launch indefinitely. On Monday, the company said it would provide an update in the “next few weeks.” (Samsung’s official preorder link for the Galaxy Fold now leads to a 404 page.)
But even if Samsung eventually says it has worked out the kinks, you shouldn’t buy one. Not yet, anyway. There are the obvious problems that go beyond the breakable display. The Galaxy Fold is gut-blastingly expensive at $1,980, and review units contained design flaws that were revealed in a teardown by iFixit. (Facing pressure from Samsung, iFixit later removed its examination “out of respect” to the partner that leaked the phone.) But let’s say you buy the thing when it launches: What happens if you drop it on its foldable face and break that sucker? Experts tell OneZero that new foldable screens created by OLED manufacturers could take up to three years to hit the market, if they do at all.
Even if Samsung eventually says it has worked out the kinks, you shouldn’t buy one. Not yet, anyway.
“That’s probably the biggest inherent risk in the Galaxy Fold — a consumer drops it and the screen cracks, and they’re like, ‘Oh no, I have to get a new one,’” says Matt Zieminski, who serves on the board of directors for the Repair Association, a group advocating for…