01/10/2014 11:25 BST | Updated 01/10/2014 11:59 BST

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 'GapGate': Weird Gap Is A Design Feature, Apparently

Samsung is the latest major smartphone manufacturer to suffer a public design issue after reports of a gap between the screen and metal body of the new Galaxy Note 4 handset.

The device has gone on sale in the firm's native South Korea and some early buyers have taken to social media to show the gap, which is large enough to slot a business card into, and try to explain its presence.

The incident follows the "bend-gate" flaw that affected Apple's new iPhone 6, where some users reported their device was warping out of shape in some situations - such as when sat on in a back pocket. Samsung even joined in on social media, posting an image of a bent iPhone bowing to the firm's Note 3 device complete with the caption "bend to those who are worthy".

Now they are dealing with their own incident, but in a statement assured customers the Note 4 is not compromised by the presence of the gap.

"The reported issue does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note 4. We assure our customers that all Galaxy Note 4 units meet our strict manufacturing and quality control standards," said a spokesman.

Indeed, according to the Note 4's own instruction manual, the gap is an intentional feature, designed to stop parts from wearing against one another. In the 'Troubleshooting' section of the handset's guide, a section reads: "This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur. Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly."

The news doesn't appear to have dented sales, with Samsung confirming that their initial stock of 30,000 in South Korea has already sold out. The device goes on sale in the UK on October 10.

Jack Parsons, deputy editor of UK-based Android Magazine said:

"Gap-gate is quite embarrassing for Samsung after they were so quick to grandstand about the iPhone 6 Plus's bending problem. Just as people posted photos on social networks of bent iPhones, South Korean Samsung users have been posting pictures of business cards fitting into the gap between the display and the frame of the Galaxy Note 4."

The iPhone 6 wasn't too heavily damaged by the bending reports, as Apple announced record sales figures for the opening weekend, with more than 10 million handsets sold of the 6 and larger 6 Plus.