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Some Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 preorders might be delayed

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. (Image credit: TechRadar)

Some Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 preorders are going to arrive later than expected, according to emails being sent out to customers, with the devices getting delivered in mid-September rather than late August as originally promised.

The emails were obtained by AllAboutSamsung (via Android Central), but for now the issue seems to be limited to German buyers and particular variations of these devices. That suggests that this might be a regional problem, and that people in other countries will still get their smartphones and smartwatches on time.

In the UK, for example, Galaxy Z Fold 3 preorders seem to be arriving ahead of schedule, so whatever the problem is, it doesn't look as though it's going to affect everyone who has placed an order for a Galaxy Z Fold 3 or a Galaxy Watch 4.

Rooting for Samsung

Meanwhile, if you have already ordered a Galaxy Z Fold 3, you might want to think twice if you're planning on unlocking the bootloader – as XDA Developers reports, rooting the foldable will disable all camera operations, so you'll no longer be able to capture any photos or videos.

Unlocking bootloaders to root devices is common practice for Android enthusiasts, as it gives them full control over the software that can be installed and full access to all the hardware components and functions.

However, manufacturers aren't so keen on this kind of low-level hacking, and it would appear that Samsung has taken an extra step to discourage would-be unlockers. However, the camera capabilities do come back again once the bootloader is relocked, according to reports from users.


Analysis: don't panic about your Samsung Galaxy preorders just yet

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. (Image credit: TechRadar)

While it's always a little disconcerting to read about shipping delays on gadgets – especially ones that you've put cold hard cash down for – the issues with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 do seem to be limited to a minority of users.

The emails we've reported on blame "unforeseen delivery bottlenecks" (based on a rough translation), so it sounds as though the ongoing pandemic and the long-lasting chip shortage across the electrics industry could be to blame.

Very few technology companies across the world are immune to these pressures and restrictions at the moment, but Samsung has been confident enough to launch two foldables and two smartwatches this month, with another phone rumored to be on the way shortly.

Unless you've actually had an email from Samsung or a retailer stating that your preorder is going to be delayed, it should show up on August 27 as originally advertised. As for what availability will be like further down the line, we'll have to wait and see.

David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. On TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables.