Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold phone has been a hot topic for a few weeks now. There has been a lot of buzz around it since Samsung announced it on February 20th, but even more so when they provided the actual phones for user testing on April 15th and announced the start of sales on April 26th. Everyone, even the iPhone users, got excited about this unique and innovative phone with a foldable screen that, according to Samsung, was supposed to “change the shape of tomorrow.”
However, not everyone shared the excitement and optimism about the Samsung Fold. Some reviewers were concerned about the durability of the screens and how easy it was to scratch the plastic surface. Others weren’t as worried about that, but more concerned with the hinges, which seemed to get damaged very easily and caused the foldable OLED screen to break. Many online publications questioned the ability of the new foldable phone to withstand crashes and the effect the thin screen protector (which a lot of people happened to peel off accidentally) will have on it. Others have warned about breakage, but believe that the new technology will actually be a good thing in the long-run and will have a positive impact on the technology in the end.
Beyond editorial content, I wanted to take a deeper look into how users are really feeling about the announced release of the new Samsung Galaxy Fold. To do this, I tapped into CommentsRadar technology, which mines reader commentary on publishing sites across the web, to gain deeper insight into audience sentiment on trending topics.
Samsung Galaxy Fold – is an Android foldable smartphone developed by Samsung Electronics. Unveiled on February 20, 2019, its release has been postponed indefinitely after reviewers began experiencing issues with the flexible display. The device is capable of being folded open to expose a 7.3-inch tablet-sized flexible display.
CommentsRadar – a social data mining tool for analyzing comments on the Internet. Comments Radar collects data about all English-speaking comments. You can use it to find comments per domain, keyword, topic, capture expressed sentiments and do lots of other fun stuff.
About the author: I’m neither a trained statistician nor a sociologist. I just pulled up data from my CommentsRadar account and would like to share my observations that I hope you will find interesting. You can further interpret the numbers and check the info yourself using CommentsRadar.
General Overview on the Galaxy Fold
During the past 2 weeks of heated discussions, well over 1,000 editorial posts were published about Samsung Galaxy Fold, with over 37,000 comments from nearly 25,000 users. What can I say? That’s a lot!
It’s hard to draw any conclusions from these numbers alone, so let’s dig deeper. First, let’s take a look at how comments have fluctuated day-by-day since the start of sales announcement earlier in April.
As we can see, there was lots of discussion around April 15-16th, when the announcement first was released by Samsung. But the commenting activity was really off the charts on April 17th and 18th, when the reports about severe breakage of the screens and the folding mechanisms started coming out.
We see another peak in user activity following Samsung’s announcement to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold, posted on April 23rd.
Deep Dive on Sentiment Analysis
The keyword, “Samsung Galaxy Fold” was discussed the most on Reddit and Youtube, each of which got around 15,000 comments on the topic over the past few weeks. Reddit had over 400 posts published related to the new Samsung Fold phone release, while Youtubers created over 100 pieces of content about it.
And as much as I want to dive into individual comments and read their sentiment, even the article titles themselves already tell a very clear story. 14 out of the top 20 most discussed articles have very negative titles and 6 of the titles state that the phone “breaks.” As an example, here’s the number one most discussed post on this topic on Reddit – “The $2,000 Galaxy Fold is already breaking.” It got almost 2,400 comments and well over 36,000 comment likes.
Only 2 of the top 10 most discussed articles have neutral titles, such as this YouTube review of the phone, “Galaxy Fold: The First Experience” and “Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on: more than a concept”. Feel free to check them out and take a look at the comments too. Most of them aren’t as neutral, as the article titles.
Using CommentsRadar Sentiment Analysis to Sift Through Controversy
Naturally, a topic like this sparks a lot of controversies. Shots were fired by both Samsung fans and Apple enthusiasts. The most controversial comment was left by user Graylshaped on ArsTechnica article “Samsung puts the screws to iFixit, makes it remove the Galaxy Fold teardown” stating “Where have we seen THAT one before?” This anti-Samsung comment received almost 200 dislikes and over 100 likes. Another controversial comment was much more favorable towards Samsung. User Ocasio Cortez eats paint chips, who we can safely assume is a Samsung fan, reassured other commenters that “Samsung will correct this. Ten years from now, Apple will release a phone with a folding screen and call it a novel idea. People will stand in lines for days and pay thousands to have something Android users had a decade before.” Lots of people agreed with his opinion posted in response to a Yahoo News article “Samsung is facing a fiasco only days before its $1,980 Galaxy Fold hybrid device is going on sale”. He received almost 170 likes and only a little over 60 dislikes. Thus, we can clearly see how the audience is split into two camps on this sensitive topic.
Here are some of the most liked comments:
“I’m no engineer but I kinda saw this coming” comment by 22OregonJB on this Reddit post got over 7,300 likes!
William Friedrich commented: “So what you’re saying is Samsung folded under pressure? Too soon?” in response to this YouTube review and got over 2,300 likes.
And “Even the iPhone 6 handled that fold way better smh” comment, referring to how easy it was to bend the old version of the iPhone, got over 1,000 likes.
The high price point was also a point of contention. That’s understandable, taking into account the $2,000 price tag on the new phone. “Easy to fold.. hard to afford”, said SimonJM in response to this “Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on: more than a concept” YouTube review and got almost 1,600 likes. “Whether it is perfect or not, I can’t afford it anyway” Jess Gil responded to another YouTube review.
The fiasco with the foldable screens brought a lot of bad memories of the recent Galaxy Note 9 catching on fire and exploding, which is definitely not working out well for Samsung’s brand image. “Worst? I mean, they could *explode*, that’s definitely been a thing”, says this Reddit user in response to the article titled “Galaxy Fold fiasco is worst possible start for foldable phones”. Though some users in the same thread are a little more optimistic: “Well, at least this a step up from bursting into flames when it comes to design flaws, so there’s that.”
And while Samsung haters were naturally having a blast, brand advocates also had some strong arguments regarding the reviewers mistakes which caused the issues with the Fold in the first place: “Some reviewers mistakenly removed a layer of protective coating for the main 7.3-inch display, believing that it was just a piece of film that many phones ship with out of the box” points out binarycoven in his comment with 2,000 likes to this Reddit post. Another Reddit user also said “I don’t think Samsung has to take action this was the result of reviewers removing something that clearly said “do not remove” on it”. asoep44 then concluded his post by saying “downvote me but I’m right” and got 70 downvotes.
Another commenter to “Samsung puts the screws to iFixit, makes it remove the Galaxy Fold teardown” post addresses the controversy about a negative review article being taken down: “As much as I dislike a lot of their business practices, I have to defend Samsung on this one. This isn’t Samsung “taking down an article that makes it look bad”, not even close to that. One of the receivers of the pre-release unit broke their non-disclosure agreement by dissembling the phone or giving it to a third party. This is a very serious breach of contract and if Samsung didn’t go after the person that did it with a legal threat it would set precedent and no one would respect NDA contracts with them in the future. The person in breach of contract asked for the article to be taken down in order to appease Samsung’s lawyers.” His comment got over 1,300 likes.
So to summarize, even before the Samsung Fold got released, the Internet was full of consumer feedback about the phone, it’s features and pricing. I’m confident that potential consumers would be very appreciative if Samsung took this kind of feedback into account and adjusted the Galaxy Fold positioning and pricing. I’ll quote one of our favorite comments on this topic that got over 3,000 likes and was made by GearshiftJB … We “look forward to watching this unfold”!
And remember, often you can discover the best info in the commenting sections, not in the articles and posts. So always read the comments, as that’s the place where the best insights get shared and the real action happens. Feel free to check out more engaging articles and comments about Samsung Galaxy Fold and other trending topics for free online using CommentsRadar.
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