Samsung Galaxy Fold Delay May Hurt Short-term Brand Reputation—Analysts


Samsung decided to delay the launch of its $2,000 foldable smartphone, a move that analysts believe will briefly impact its brand reputation. Despite the impending hurt on the tech giant, industry experts are still placing their bets on Samsung to produce a champion for smartphone development, CNBC says.

The South Korean tech firm was supposed to release the Galaxy Fold smartphone on Friday (April 26) but was delayed after some reviewers encountered problems with early testing units. On Monday, Samsung said the phone "needs further improvements" before customers get a hold of them and that they will announce a new release date "in the coming weeks."

A prolonged delay on the smartphone's launch will cause a stir of worries among stakeholders, Daniel Yoo, head of the global strategy and research at Kiwoom Securities, told the business news site via email.

He added Samsung's flagship Galaxy S10 is deemed as a "very satisfactory device," but the release of the foldable phone will be deciding factor if the biggest smartphone maker in the world will maintain its leader status in the sector and continue to be a significant player in technology advancement.

"I expect Samsung to solve all the problems before the newly announced official launch date, and the date will be most likely before the end of 2Q2019," Yoo said, referring to the quarter that will end in June.

President, founder and chief analyst at Technalysis Research Bob O'Donnell believe that the delay will affect the tech giant's brand, although it won't be a "killer" to its reputation.

“Granted, it’s going to hit the brand, but I don’t think it’s a killer. It’s not like the Note 7 battery issue or anything like that,” he said, adding that Samsung just needs "to get this right."

Even with the negative effects of the setback, analysts still look to Samsung to be the smartphone industry's winner as the segment struggles with declining growth trends.

"Smartphone sales numbers are declining and the industry needs a winner with the category," Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told CNBC via email.

Moorhead said so long as the final delivery units of the Galaxy Fold don't have issues or Samsung acts on a straightforward "no questions asked" replacement program, then the growth of foldable smartphones should not face any further issues.