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Samsung will cancel Galaxy Fold preorders unless customers confirm

If the Galaxy Fold doesn't ship by May 31, Samsung will cancel orders unless customers say they want to keep them.

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Two weeks after delaying the launch of the Galaxy Fold, Samsung can't tell buyers when they can expect it to ship.

Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung's troubles with its beleaguered Galaxy Fold appear to be further delaying when buyers can expect the phone to land in their hands.

Samsung originally planned to launch the Galaxy Fold on April 26. But a few days before, the Korean electronics giant officially delayed the debut of its $2,000 foldable phone after reports of broken Galaxy Fold review units. Early production review units experienced screen breaks, flickering and, in one case, a bulge, causing a kerfuffle among onlookers and casting doubt about their durability.

Foldable phones are a new concept rocking the phone world. The design is supposed to give people double the screen space on a device that's small enough to carry around, unlike today's pocket-busting devices. But the enormous expense -- the Galaxy Fold starts at $1,980 -- and concerns over the durability of a bendable screen and hinge could threaten the ability of foldable phones to get off the ground.

Samsung notified customers who had preordered the Galaxy Fold of the delay in April, saying it'd provide them with "more specific shipping information in two weeks." Those two weeks have now come and gone, and early Galaxy Fold buyers are still no closer to learning when they might expect a phone.

An email sent Monday night to preorder customers (see below), including CNET's Jessica Dolcourt, offered little in the way of information and a vague time frame for when they could expect their next update. Samsung says it's "making progress" in raising the quality of the handset. "This means we cannot confirm the anticipated ship date yet. We'll update you with more specific shipping information in the coming weeks."

Samsung isn't charging a customer's credit card for the Fold until it ships, and the company is also giving preorder buyers an out if they change their mind and want to cancel the order before it ships. The email also noted that if the Galaxy Fold doesn't ship by May 31, orders will be automatically canceled if Samsung doesn't hear back from customers that they want to keep their order.

Samsung is required by US regulations to notify customers that their preorders will be canceled if the phones aren't shipped by May 31, a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement. Samsung is committed to keeping customers informed, the spokesperson reiterated, and customers have an option to keep orders past the May 31 date and "may also cancel their orders at any time." 

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Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Originally published May 6.
Update, May 7: Adds additional comment from Samsung.