Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold phone has been delayed following reports that its folding screen is suffering severe issues with cracking and flickering.

The phone was due to be launched this week in China and the US with an eye-watering price tag of US$1980 (AUD$2780).

No Australian launch date had been announced.

The phone was officially delayed after numerous tech journalists took to social media to report that their review phones had serious issues with the internal screen.

The journalists reported distortion, flickering and cracking of the internal screen of the folding phone, casting doubts on the durability of the mechanism.

“To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold,” said Samsung in a statement.

“We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks.”

The Galaxy Fold had been billed as the most innovative phone since the original iPhone.

Its key selling point is an internal screen, accessible by folding the phone open, which turns it into an 18.5cm (7.3”) tablet.

Several other manufacturers – notably Huawei and Xiaomi – are also working on folding phones, but Samsung had pushed hard to be first to market with the Galaxy Fold.

It said it had spent six years and a hundred million US dollars on the developing the folding display in the phone.

Samsung reported that it expected to make a million Fold phones this year, and had been forced to list pre-orders as sold out due to the high demand for the phone.

Samsung said that those who did pre-order the phone have the option of a full refund if they do not want to wait until it eventually ships.

This is not the first time Samsung has had quality issues with a new device. In 2016 it was forced to recall the Galaxy Note 7 following reports that the batteries would catch on fire.

The reports

- tech editor Steve Kovach showed a video of his phone’s screen flickering after just a day of use.

- The Verge’s Dieter Bohn reported that a small bulge beneath the phone screen was warping it when open.

- Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported: “The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in. Hard to know if this is widespread or not.”

- YouTuber Marques Brownlee reported a similar problem to Gurman: “There's a layer that appears to be a screen protector on the Galaxy Fold's display. It's NOT a screen protector. Do NOT remove it. I got this far peeling it off before the display spazzed and blacked out. Started over with a replacement.”