Samsung explains battery flaws caused exploding Note 7, promises tighter safety protocols

The wait is over! Finally we can quench our burning desire to get answers for the Note 7 debacle. Samsung has released the official explanation for its faulty Note 7.

Defective batteries from two manufacturers had led to one of the biggest failures in tech history. Samsung withdrew the Note 7, its answer to Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus, less than two months after its launch.

In an almost theatrical twist of events, the batteries had apparently suffered from two completely different defects that led to the same result – combustion of the Note 7. Talk about bizarre! According to Samsung, the original battery had a design flaw whereas the replacement battery had a manufacturing defect. Both then caused a short circuit and ultimately led to the phone combusting.

Diagram compares a normal Samsung battery and an abnormal battery, showing how the negative electrode was deflected in the abnormal battery.
The original battery was oversized which resulted in short-circuiting.

When the replacement Note 7s were discovered to have the same dangerous problem, many questioned Samsung’s chances of recovering from such a potent double whammy. Samsung, however, has proven its status as a leading brand with a stunningly satisfying response.

Diagram shows the differences in a normal and abnormal Samsung replacement battery. The abnormal battery had a manufacturing flaw which led to short-circuiting.
The replacement battery had a welding defect which also led to a short circuit.

The transparent explanation, uncharacteristic of a company prone to holding its cards close to the chest, is apparently working wonders for recovering consumer trust. Also Samsung managed to achieve an astounding 96% retrieval rate, indicating their aggressive attitude in rectifying the situation and building up consumer confidence once more.

Samsung made no mention of the two battery suppliers on Sunday, claiming to take full responsible for the incident. However it feels rather redundant since the suppliers have already been named previously. The implicit message Samsung seems determined to convey is that the fault fully lies in the battery. Is it just me or does it seem just a little like Samsung is throwing the battery manufacturers under the bus here?

The 8-step test shows the 8 elements of battery safety Samsung would inspect carefully to prevent future incidents.
Samsung plans to implement this 8-step battery test for future products. (Image source: Alfred Ng/CNET)

Moving on, Samsung has promised to pay more attention to safety and the entire production process. It’s actually pretty noteworthy how the company has taken ownership of the situation, implementing measures to prevent future recurrences.

We can’t say that Samsung has done a perfect job in mitigating the situation. However, we should definitely give them credit for their applaudable efforts. Hopefully the upcoming launch of Galaxy S8 will show the results.

One thing is for sure – the whole world will be watching to see what steps Samsung will take henceforth to prove themselves capable of rising from the ashes.


See also: HP recalls more than 100,000 batteries for possible overheating

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