I hope Samsung aren’t buying lotto tickets, because judging by the results of their Note 7 “incident” investigations, they are really really unlucky. Two separate batteries from different companies were at fault and caused the fires and then discontinuation of the Note 7 last year.
Speaking to a global audience, Samsung’s head of Mobile DJ Koh introduced three representatives from independent third-party companies who have spent many months testing both batteries and factories to get to the bottom of what went wrong last year.
As you’ll remember, the Note 7 launched in August to great fanfare over its capabilities, not least the Iris scanning unlock feature. After an initial recall, the device was discontinued entirely in October.
Samsung itself went to great lengths to test their product, resolving internally that they were confident their electronics, the fast charge feature, Iris scanner and even new USB type-C port were not at fault.
Externally, two companies then investigated the battery manufacturers. The first batteries installed in the Note 7 were deemed to be faulty (if you want the technical details – there are smarter folk to describe that than me).
Walking away from that fault, Samsung turned to another company for the new batch of batteries which were installed in replacement devices.
Those batteries did not have the same fault, but unfortunately as it turned out after production was ramped up, another fault was within the battery at the point of manufacturing.
Bottom line – the batteries were bad. Both of them. From separate companies. Go figure.
But, not to cast blame away from them, Samsung were clear to point out that it was Samsung who provided the target specifications for the capacity and size of the battery.
In an ever competitive mobile market, phones get smaller, people want smaller batteries. Something had to give.
Following these investigations, Samsung have introduced a comprehensive new testing and safety regime into their processes, and also talked about sharing their findings and processes with others to ensure the same thing does not happen.
Time will tell.
The next big announcement from Samsung is likely to be in April when they announce the Galaxy S8 flagship device.