Samsung’s new flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7, has a problem. A big one. Mainly, it has a tendency to explode and burn things like people, cars, or even houses. The recall has mostly seemed unorganized and slow to develop, leading many tech experts to wonder just how one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world managed to make such a big mistake.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, Samsung heard all the rumors about the new iPhone 7 and decided that they wanted to blow away consumers (no pun intended) with an amazing device, compared to the “boring” iPhone 7 that features nominal improvements, but nothing groundbreaking. So the top Samsung executives ordered the company to accelerate the launch of the Note 7.
They pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new features, another person with direct knowledge said. The Note 7 would have a high-resolution screen that wraps around the edges, iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging battery. Apple’s taunts that Samsung was a copycat would be silenced for good.
Then it all backfired. Just days after Samsung introduced the Note 7 in August, reports surfaced online that the phone’s batteries were bursting into flame. By the end of the month, there were dozens of fires and Samsung was rushing to understand what went wrong.
In their desire to really put a dent in Apple’s smartphone marketshare, Samsung also increased the battery capacity from 3000 mAH to 3500 mAH. The iPhone 7’s battery, for comparison, is rated at 2900 mAH. Unfortunately the rest of the phone struggled contain the higher power amount:
The initial conclusions indicated an error in production that put pressure on plates within the battery cells. That in turn brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat that caused the battery to explode. The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was more explicit when his agency announced an official recall on Thursday. He said the phone’s battery was slightly too big for its compartment and the tight space pinched the battery, causing a short circuit.
Samsung has issued a worldwide recall of Note 7 phones, and if you are still using one, please go get it swapped out for one less likely to explode and burn things. Or buy an iPhone 7 instead, like Apple wants you to.