If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you would know that Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, has had an explosive problem. This problem was supposed to be remedied by the Korean company replacing the older, defective Note 7s with a "safer" version of the phone. Unfortunately, things did not go quite as well as Samsung has planned as reports are coming in that the replacements are exploding as well.
Samsung’s decision to freeze the production of the Galaxy Note 7 comes after reports that the supposedly "safe" batch of smartphones have begun exploding as well. As of the time of writing, at least five replacement Note 7s have reportedly exploded.
For those who didn’t actively follow the incident, here’s a brief rundown surrounding the Note 7’s explosive issue:
24th of August, 2016
Reports of the Note 7 and its explosive tendencies first appeared on the internet as a user in China posted images of his burnt Note 7 on China’s social media platform Baidu. This picture was written off by many as the picture shows that the user in question was using a third-party USB-Type C cable to charge his phone, leading many to believe that the exploding phone was due to the user error.
1st September, 2016
A week after the pictures of the burnt Note 7 was posted up on the internet, Samsung told Reuters that shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 had been delayed as the company wishes to put the phones through quality control testing.
2nd September, 2016
A day after informing Reuters that it would be delaying Galaxy Note 7 shipments, Yonhap News reported that Samsung will be issuing a global recall of the smartphone, hinting that all may not be well with Samsung’s latest flagship.
5th September, 2016
The Oriental Daily broke the story that a Note 7 has exploded in Taiwan.
On the same day, the Korea Herald reported that Samsung has decided to stop utilising batteries made by Samsung SDI. While Samsung did not issue a statement surrounding their decision to drop Samsung SDI, many speculated that the company was behind the defective batteries that led to the Note 7 exploding.
9th September, 2016
With news of the Note 7 exploding being reported with increasing frequency, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia began implementing precautionary bans on the smartphone. This means that passengers are not allowed to use, charge, or even turn on the phone while they’re in-flight.
The United States’ Federal Aviation Administration also issued their own warnings about bringing the Note 7 onto flights, advising passengers to refrain from using their phones while onboard an aircraft.
14th September, 2016
With Samsung’s replacement Note 7 units still on the way, the company announced that it would be pushing through a software update that would cause all current Note 7 batteries to store only 60% of its charge.
20th September, 2016
Note 7 owners were finally able to exchange their defective Note 7s for a "safe" model. Samsung issued a guide that would allow all Note 7 owners to identify if their current device is a defective one or a replacement model. Key identifiers include a green battery icon and a square mark found on the phone’s packaging.
6th October, 2016
The Verge reported the first known instance of a replacement Note 7 exploding on a Southwest Airlines flight.
With at least five replacement Note 7s exploding, and with more expected to come, Samsung has decided to temporarily suspend production of the Note 7 in order to identify the root cause of the explosion.
There’s very little that Note 7 owners can do now, seeing as even the replacement models are susceptible to this exploding problem. Until Samsung issues a proper statement concerning the issue, Note 7 owners should just swap over to a spare phone if possible.
Samsung’s decision to suspend production of the Note 7 could very well be the nail in the coffin for the Note 7. While the Note 7 itself is a genuinely good smartphone, the phone’s notorious tendency to explode without warning may have put people off the phone permanently. The Korea Herald is reporting that Samsung is looking to push forward the release of the Galaxy S8 in an attempt to wash their hands off the Note 7 brouhaha.
That said, if Samsung gets too hasty and releases yet another defective product, the consequences could be severe.