SAMSUNG IS having a fairly awful week. The disastrous initial reception for its folding device, the Galaxy Fold has escalated into something quite major, not least of all because it seems that for Samsung, failure wasn't an option, meaning it now has little choice but to wing-it - something they're doing with all the grace of a duck near Dick Cheney.
The latest twist (actually, don't twist it - that's part of the problem) came when iFixIt, a site beloved by INQ and often featured on our hallowed pages, announced that it had agreed to remove an absolutely crucifying review of the Fold's assembly, seemingly after Samsung asked it to:
"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."
As fellow journalists, this is uncomfortable. The symbiotic relationship we have with companies has rules, and amongst them is that nobody, but nobody should tell us how to write or what to write - as long as it's factually correct at the time of writing, it stands.
However, the last thing that iFixit needs is to fall out with Samsung, and in that respect, complying seems to be the best way to pour oil on troubled waters - seriously, the article was an absolute drubbing.
What this all suggests to us is that the Fold is going to be significantly retooled before its re-release. Several outlets, including iFixit, suggested that the mistakes that led to the Fold's fold were fully avoidable and that the whole thing was a bit shonkily designed.
This begs the question - did Samsung take shortcuts to ensure it was first to market?
The answer is almost certainly yes. Although Huawei is still being very cagey about its own product, the company has been breathing down Samsung's neck throughout this process and the prize for being first to market seemed too tempting.
The problem now is that Samsung thought the solution was to release a sub-par product and hope that the hype would tint the flaws with roses. It didn't work.
Then came the takedown request, which has further backfired, thanks to something we've talked about before - The Streisand Effect - because now every major tech news outlet is reporting on the iFixit story.
And just to remind you that the internet never, ever forgets - here's the teardown, courtesy of the Internet Archive. You're most certainly welcome. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked