Just two days after publishing a typically detailed teardown of the Galaxy Fold, iFixit has decided to remove the article from its website. We had wondered how iFixit had received its Galaxy Fold, considering just how few were out in the wild, and it turns out that it came from a "trusted partner" of iFixit originally. Samsung apparently requested, through that mutual partner, that iFixit pull its teardown from its website.
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.
It isn't entirely surprising that Samsung would make this request, and I'm sure this isn't the first time iFixit has faced such a request, but the fact that it complied in this case is a bit of a head scratcher. The teardown was on its website for over two days, with copious media coverage pointing anyone and everyone curious about the Fold's short-but-intense history to take a look. And as we all know, nothing is ever fully deleted from the internet: Archive.org obviously has a copy of the full teardown. Perhaps iFixit understands the fact that the information is still out there for people who want to find it, and figures that keeping relations sound (as possible) with its partner and Samsung isn't worth keeping the teardown up on its site.
As we all know, nothing is ever fully deleted from the internet.
The iFixit teardown wasn't purely negative on the Fold, either. Although it did reveal some head-scratching design decisions that seem very easily linked to the well-reported display issues, it also showed there were lots of very well-thought-out components and engineering decisions made. There's a real possibility that the Galaxy Fold provided to iFixit was not a finalized device, and perhaps Samsung was (or is) concerned about a teardown of such a device revealing trade secrets, but that seems relatively unlikely considering how close the Fold was to a retail launch at the time.
With the number of questions already raised as to the Fold's reliability and durability, asking iFixit to take down its teardown isn't a particularly great look — and ultimately, just calls more attention to the situation. The real interesting turn of events will be when the Fold finally has its retail launch and iFixit — in addition to plenty of other people and websites — gets its hands on one again for some comparative analysis.
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