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26.04.2019
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iFixit pulls Galaxy Fold teardown at Samsung’s request

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

What in the world is going on over at Samsung in the wake of the Galaxy Fold delay? The whole situation keeps refusing to normalize, and instead gets weirder nearly every day. The latest is that iFixit has decided to honor a Samsung request to pull its Galaxy Fold teardown off the internet, even though Samsung apparently didn’t ask iFixit to do so directly.

This oddity follows AT&T’s seemingly arbitrary decision to email a potential ship date for the Galaxy Fold despite the fact that Samsung hasn’t officially set a new release date. By requesting that iFixit pull the teardown, Samsung is apparently willing to risk the Streisand effect when it comes to people clamoring to see the innards of its device. Here’s part of iFixit’s statement on the matter:

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.

Why is Samsung doing this? We’ve asked for comment, obviously, but we suspect an answer may not be forthcoming. That leaves us with a whole pile of possible reasons we can only speculate on.

On the charitable end of the interpretation scale is that Samsung is definitely reworking the Fold, the design will change, and Samsung doesn’t want to have a teardown out there for a device it isn’t ever going to ship. Possibilities get successively less charitable from there. Perhaps the partner who provided the Fold to iFixit wasn’t supposed to, and Samsung is just enforcing a contract.

Why did Samsung want the teardown pulled?

Or maybe it’s just that the teardown served as excellent evidence that there were obvious and potentially avoidable mistakes in the Fold’s design, namely that it was too easy for dirt and grit to get inside it. That was our take when when we originally looked at the teardown, though we were also impressed at how sturdy the hinge was.

Whatever Samsung’s reasoning, it’s not a great look to issue a takedown request in any situation. Why a company that’s already straining to quell the bad press around this device would invite more of it by requesting a takedown is baffling.

To be clear, Samsung has not sent any requests to The Verge to remove our review of the Fold as it was originally designed, or any of our other content. If it responds to our request for comment on this takedown or has anything else to say, we’ll definitely let you know.

In the meanwhile, you can read the Internet Archive’s version of iFixit’s Samsung Galaxy Fold teardown right here.

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