At its release, the Samsung Note 7 was off to a good start. The new device was exactly what the South Korean manufacturer needed to compete with its US counterpart, Apple. Released just a few weeks before the iPhone 7 debut, Samsung positioned itself perfectly to get ahead of its rival. Rumors were already spreading about Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from its new device before it was released, and as Apple users retorted, Note 7s were flying off the shelves.
Samsung’s Note 7 release success was short lived, however, as Note 7s started exploding. That’s no exaggeration; they were literally exploding. The first incident of an explosion occurred in South Korea just a couple weeks after its release. People’s ears started to perk up, but some may have brushed it off as just another rare freak accident; but not for long. Within days, Note 7s were exploding everywhere. Several dozens of Note 7s had exploded in the US alone.
By mid September, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission took action to formally recall over 1 million Samsung Note 7s; a costly blow to Samsung, but a safe move for the public. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration placed a temporary ban of the devices from being brought onto any aircraft. Samsung was left with no choice but to voluntarily recall millions more devices.
Surprisingly, Samsung had already fixed the issue within a matter of weeks; or so they thought. Last week, Note 7s were allegedly ready to be sold worldwide and were selling like crazy once again. It seems Samsung was mistaken, however, as the South Korean manufacturer decided to stop production of the Note 7 entirely, urging customers to power down their devices and return them immediately.
The Root Cause of the Explosions
According to Samsung’s official recall statement, the cause of the exploding devices was caused by faulty batteries. Excessive use and charging of the device caused the faulty battery to overheat, causing it to catch fire and the device to explode. Samsung also explained in a Q&A in its UK news portal, “Based on our investigation, we learned that there was an issue with the battery cell,” Samsung explained. “An overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact which is a very rare manufacturing process error.”
Samsung's Initial Recall
Samsung attempted to replace all the faulty batteries with new ones, including new and recalled devices. In addition, both the new phones and recalled phones with replacement batteries were marked as “safe” in several ways for customers to notice.
First, the new phones had a black square mark located on the sticker label of the packaging box.
They also had a green battery icon located on the Status Bar, the Always On Display, and the Power Off Menu.
Note 7s “Exploding” Off the Shelves After Relaunch
Despite the first massive recall, it seems Samsung customers still had some faith in the brand. Note 7’s were reportedly selling like crazy after the relaunch. However, Samsung’s success was short lived once again.
Following Samsung’s announcement that all Note 7s were once again available for sale worldwide, more devices continued to explode. In one case, a passenger’s Note 7 exploded while boarding a flight in Baltimore, Maryland. The passenger’s wife allegedly stated that her husband had just powered down the phone when it caught fire and caused smoke to cover the cabin, prompting flight attendants to evacuate the plane and cancel the flight. What’s more, the woman alleged that the device was new, having replaced their old device during the recall.
Samsung Halts Production and Sales of Note 7
Following investigations of the more recent explosions, Samsung made a last resort decision this week to halt sales and production of the Note 7 entirely. Expert analysts say the move could cost Samsung 10 billion dollars or more due to a decline in sales and plummeting stock market value as a result of a potentially massive loss in the faith of its customers.
What Should You Do With Your Note 7?
If you currently own a Note 7, it’s important for your safety and the safety of others to power down your device and return it immediately. Samsung reports that it will issue full refunds or allow you to replace your device with another Samsung model.
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