The internet is abuzz with the news that a new Galaxy Note 7 caught fire on a plane just before take off. The Southwest Airlines plane bound for Kentucky from the Louisville International Airport had to be evacuated. Nobody was hurt among the 75 passengers and crew members on board at the time.
The latest incident of a Note 7 catching fire started off differently from all the others. Normally, what we know about these devices going aflame is that they heat up while been charged.
In this case however, the phone was not connected to any power outlet and it was even switched off. According to what the owner, Brian Green, told The Verge; just before take off, he powered down the phone according to instructions from the flight officials. Then dropped the phone in his pocket.
A short while later, he noticed smoke coming out from the pocket where he had dropped the phone. His description of the smoke was very dramatic. The words he used were ‘thick green angry smoke.’
Good thing Brian Green wasn’t a man from the Middle East, with that kind of smoke coming from his vicinity, the immediate thought of the other passengers would be that he is a terrorist on a mission.
The Galaxy Note 7 was released just last month. Soon after, reports were coming in from some markets outside China that the phones were catching fire while being charged.
In the beginning, it sounded like a few isolated cases that must have happened due to bad charging habits.
But the reports of these fires became too numerous to ignore as coincidental. Samsung had to act. And they did these in admirable fashion. A well organized world-wide recall was initiated for all bad Note 7.
And just a couple of weeks ago, Samsung announced that it had replaced the defective Note 7 with new ones. With instructions on how to differentiate a New Note 7 from a defective one.
The obvious indicator of a new Note 7 is the battery icon in the phone’s display which now comes with a green color. Also, another sign of a new Note 7 is a black square on the box that came with the phone.
The bad news for Samsung is that all these indicators of a new Note 7 were present in Mr Green’s phone. Putting to rest speculations that he must have being using an old Note 7 even though he bought the phone on the 21st of last month.
Upon inquiries by The Verge, Samsung released this statement:
Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.”
Meanwhile, the US commission in charge of making sure that products sold to consumers are safe, have already swung into action to investigate the latest incident involving Galaxy Note 7.
I think think this latest fire incident should be more worrisome for Samsung. First of all, the battery wasn’t even being charged when the phone caught fire. Secondly, the man claimed since he bought the phone he had always charged the phone wirelessly.
Which should indicate that the Note 7 has serious structural problems that goes beyond just defective batteries. In which case, the people at Samsung have to write off the Galaxy Note 7 as a total flop due to major design defects.
I can’t imagine what a situation like that would do to Samsung’s finances in the short run. All I can say for sure is that nobody in their right senses would be rushing to buy a Note 7 with any enthusiasm.
Even if this is just an isolated incident affecting just this one phone, the Note 7 is already damaged goods. I don’t think there would be any sort of redemption for the device now.
image credit: theverge.com; www.india.com; technewstt.com