In the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Fold screen debacle, iFixit has pulled down its detailed teardown, or technical deconstruction, of the device.
Since early reviewer units of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold device had been failing at an alarming rate, the Korean company decided to recall the devices. Despite all this, iFixit managed to get its hands on a Galaxy Fold and perform one of its famous teardowns on the phone. The site highlighted several design flaws, the main one being a 7mm gap in the bezel where the two sides meet that allows debris to enter under the display and damage it.
Now, according to a new blog post from the website, iFixit was pressured by Samsung to remove the teardown. Apparently, the dubious origin of iFixit‘s Galaxy Fold (and the embarrassment of having the site poke holes in your $2,000 USD smartphone design) was enough to draw Samsung’s retaliation.
“We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner,” iFixit said. “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.”
iFixit called the device “alarmingly fragile,” but also noted in today’s post that “Our team appreciated the chance to look inside this ambitious device. All new products face challenges—this one perhaps more than most.”
It is currently unclear why Samsung chose to make this request. It could be that the partner was not authorized to share the device, which would then mean that Samsung could have sued the partner for breaking contractual obligations, and a pulldown could be damage control of this situation. It could also be that Samsung wishes to hide information made public through that teardown while it investigates the reasons for the device’s failure.
However, if this is the case, the request has had the opposite effect as it has invited much more attention to the teardown, and copies of the teardown can be easily accessed if you’re interested.