Samsung's $2000 Galaxy Fold phones are breaking - here are some of the biggest smartphone fiascos over the years

Samsung's $2000 Galaxy Fold phones are breaking - here are some of the biggest smartphone fiascos over the years

note 7 melted

Baidu/Mr. Ni66666

  •  Several journalists are reporting that they're experiencing major issues with the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the first-ever foldable smartphone from a major manufacturer. 
  • It's just the latest smartphone fiasco, following a string of similar disasters like the iPhone "bendgate" scandal and Samsung's own issues with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
  • Here are the biggest smartphone disasters of all time. 

Samsung's foldable phone hasn't even officially hit stores, but the reviewers who have gotten their hands on the Galaxy Fold are already reporting major issues.

Samsung made units available to testers on Monday, ahead of the Galaxy Fold's release to the public on April 26. However, at least four reviewers have said that their phones are having issues, including screen failure and an odd swelling - making it possible that Samsung could delay the launch. 

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This fiasco-in-the-making is just the latest in a string of high-profile embarrassments for both Samsung and Apple. 

These are some of the biggest smartphone fiascos of all time, from flammable devices to bendable iPhones:



Samsung Galaxy Fold's screen issues.

Within two days of the Samsung Galaxy Fold getting in the hands of product reviewers, some reported that the devices were breaking and totally unusable. One reviewer said his Galaxy Fold broke after a bulge developed under the display. Another said the screen stopped working after he removed a plastic film on the display.

Samsung has yet to respond to a request for comment. However, the company has claimed previously that the Galaxy Fold's display is durable enough for 200,000 folds and unfolds.

The phone is set to be released to the public April 26.

After one day of use...

— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) April 17, 2019

The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not.

— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices bursting into flames.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices bursting into flames.

The Galaxy Fold isn't the first Samsung phone to experience major issues.

Back in 2016, users reported that some Note 7 phones would overheat and catch fire. Users described their phones bursting into flames and exploding. Some of these incidents resulted in significant damage, including injuries to a six-year-old boy and the destruction of a hotel room.

Samsung and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission later formally recalled the Note 7, after dealing with 96 cases since the phone first launched.

The company launched an investigation into what caused the problems, and found that the batteries in the first batch of Note 7 phones were too big for their casings, causing the devices to overheat. Samsung then released a second batch of phones with replacement batteries from a different supplier, but some of those batteries would also have similar problems. Samsung eventually scuttled the phone entirely and moved on.


Apple's iPhone 6 Plus 'bendgate' scandal

Apple's iPhone 6 Plus 'bendgate' scandal

In 2014, frustrated users of the iPhone 6 Plus gave this Apple scandal a catchy name: "bendgate."

Users first reported their iPhone 6 Plus devices were bending just by being kept in a pocket during everyday use. A popular tech YouTuber then put the iPhone 6 Plus to the test in a viral video, and demonstrated how easily someone was able to bend the iPhone model using their bare hands.

Apple insisted that bendgate wasn't an issue, and said at the time that bending an iPhone was "extremely rare" with normal usage. By the time Apple released its next generation phone, the iPhone 6s, the bending issue had been resolved.

Apple's iPhone 4 antenna problems.

Apple's iPhone 4 antenna problems.

Early users of the iPhone 4 in 2010 reported an issue where the phone's signal strength would drop when a user gripped the phone around the metal antenna band. Putting fingers on a certain part of the iPhone would cause the phone signal to lose reception quickly.

Apple first tried to excuse the issue as a display problem that affected the way service bar appeared on the iPhone — a response that was criticized and largely seen as a screw up. The response led "antennagate" to become a full-fledged PR crisis for Apple.

Then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs later apologized, and said the company would send all iPhone 4 buyers free "bumper cases" that resolved the service issue.

A class-action lawsuit brought by iPhone 4 owners, who accused Apple of hiding antenna issues, was settled in 2012. As part of the settlement, Apple gave out more free cases, or $15, to iPhone 4 owners that filed claims.