Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Battery fires, Recall Galaxy Note 7

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Samsung had hoped to use the launch of their second flagship device, the Galaxy Note 7, to continue the impressive showing of the Galaxy 7 . This would of course have helped cement their place as the undisputed number one smartphone seller in the world.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Battery fires, Recall Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The news coming out of Samsung is that they would have to recall millions of devices in 10 markets around the world. The problem had to do with the phone’s batteries catching fire while charging.

The recall of the 5.7” display, 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 820, 12mp camera phablet became inevitable after the reports of fire affecting the batteries during charging became too numerous to ignore as a one off.

The reports of the fire started very innocuous enough. A report on the Chinese forum Baidu about 2 weeks ago described a Note 7 phablet catching fire.

The incident then was blamed on the use of a third party-charger. These chargers are usually the culprits when it comes to battery and charging issues.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Battery fires, Recall Galaxy Note 7
Charred Galaxy Note 7

The coming days proved that the problem with the batteries went beyond whether a person used original chargers or not. It was becoming rampart in countries mostly outside of China.

Apparently, the problem is not common to Note 7 devices shipped to the Chinese market. One wonders how the original report of the fire incident was of a Chinese Galaxy Note 7.

The recall of the phablet is a huge setback to Samsung in so many ways. Samsung pride themselves as makers of high quality devices. And people expect that when they fork out about $900 for a device like this, a problem like this should be the least of their problems when using the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Battery fires, Recall Galaxy Note 7
Customers inspecting a Galaxy Note 7 before purchase

The logistics of the recall would definitely be a nightmare for Samsung. First of all, they would have to recall all devices already in transit. Secondly, they would need retail outlets to send back all devices in their inventories. And lastly, they would have to replace the Note 7 of people who had already bought it.

The logistical challenges though may be small compared to the damage this might do to the image of the company in the short run. Analysts believed though that if handled correctly, Samsung could still end the year as the market leader in the smartphone market.

Hopefully, the resumption of sales of the Note 7 would be in about a month. This should be enough time for Samsung to mop up the bad devices and ship out better ones to the affected markets.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Battery fires, Recall Galaxy Note 7
Koh Dong-Jin, President of Samsung Smartphones division

Here is the statement from Samsung about the issue:

Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.

 To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.

 For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.

 We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.”

Good. Now the world is waiting to see how quickly and efficiently the company can translate this lofty words into real life solution to a serious problem.

 

image credit: androidcentral.com; wccftech.com; reuters.com; koreatimes.co.kr

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