Samsung has finally figured out what was causing the Galaxy Note 7 to explode. After a long investigation, the Korean company has identified the issue, and taken steps to avoid a repeat performance. Now it can focus on salvaging consumer confidence in the Samsung brand.
It’s fair to say Samsung didn’t have the best 2016. And it was all because of the Galaxy Note 7, which had a habit of exploding in people’s pockets (although Samsung’s dodgy washing machines didn’t help). This cost the company dear, both in terms of cold hard cash, and its reputation.
In September 2016, Samsung recalled the first batch of Galaxy Note 7 devices and issued replacements. Unfortunately, those replacements suffered the same fate, leading Samsung to kill the Galaxy Note 7 dead once and for all. There are some left in the wild, but Samsung is doing its best to render all remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices unusable.
Samsung’s Short-Circuiting Short Story
As soon as it became clear the Galaxy Note 7 was dead in the water, Samsung commissioned an inquiry into what went wrong. Both internal and independent investigations came to the same conclusion… that the batteries were wholly to blame. Which we already suspected.
It turns out there were two separate issues at play here.
The first issue, which affected batteries allegedly manufactured by Samsung SDI, happened because the battery casing was too small, causing the negative electrodes to become bent. This increased the risk of the battery short-circuiting, and, in turn, a thermal runaway occurring.
The second issue, which affected batteries allegedly manufactured by ATL, happened because of sharp burrs created during the welding process. As the electrodes expanded and contracted these burrs penetrated the insulation layers, increasing the risk of the battery short-circuiting.
Samsung Promises to Make Amends
As well as explaining what went wrong with the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has upped its commitment to safety. The company has “re-assessed every step of the smartphone manufacturing process and developed the 8-point battery safety check”. This involves putting batteries “through extreme testing, inside and out, followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye”.
By explaining what went wrong, Samsung has taken the first step towards forgiveness. The company deserves credit for being honest, and for promising to do better in the future. However, people have long memories, and the Galaxy Note 7 debacle could affect Samsung for some time to come.
Did you buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Did you give it up during the recall? If so, which handset did you buy instead? What effect will this investigation have on your feelings towards Samsung? Will you buy another Samsung device? Please let us know in the comments below!
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