Since announcing an exchange program for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on September 1st, the issue of overheating and exploding batteries on the South... Samsung Warns Customers to Stop Using their Note 7 as Exploding Battery Continues

Since announcing an exchange program for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on September 1st, the issue of overheating and exploding batteries on the South Korean’s latest phablet has been growing. Now, just over a week later, Samsung’s latest advice is simple, brutal, and will have lasting repercussions for Samsung, the Android market, and the smartphone ecosystem as a whole.OpinionsSince announcing an exchange program for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on September 1st, the issue of overheating and exploding batteries on the South Korean’s latest phablet has been growing. Now, just over a week later, Samsung’s latest advice is simple, brutal, and will have lasting repercussions for Samsung, the Android market, and the smartphone ecosystem as a whole.

Samsung’s current phrasing around the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue is a simple one:

“Our number one priority is the safety of our customers. We are asking users to power down their Galaxy Note7s and exchange them as soon as possible,” says DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

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Samsung Warns Customers to Stop Using their Note 7 as Exploding Battery Continues

Samsung Warns Customers to Stop Using their Note 7 as Exploding Battery Continues

 

Although it is carefully written, the implication is clear. If you have a Galaxy Note 7, stop using it. Right now. Don’t use it under careful supervision, don’t take any chances. Switch it off, speak to the retailer who you purchased the device from, and wait for details on the exchange program.

While the number of confirmed faults of the Note 7 battery are few, Samsung is erring on the side of caution. Nevertheless this is turning into a corporate disaster for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 was expected to be the flagship device that would lead the South Korean company’s sales in the festive period. It was going to be the device that stood up to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in comparison tests. It was going to continue Samsung’s financial recovery. It was going to be the handset packed with innovation, style, practicality, and features.

Instead everyone in the world is to going to remember one simple fact. Samsung phones explode.

The announcement that the FAA was advising passengers to turn off and not charge the Galaxy Note while on board an aircraft has brought the matter sharply into focus around the world today as international news organisations covered the story. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has said that it is working with Samsung to announce a formal recall of the Note 7 “as soon as possible.”

Given the pressure coming from other US government agencies, consumer organisations and worldwide attention, a formal recall of the phablet – as opposed to the current voluntary arrangement of a replacement Note 7 or an exchange for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge – is likely to happen within the next week.

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Samsung’s PR teams around the world now face an immense challenge. Every Galaxy Note 7 is affected, and every consumer will likely be expecting at the very least an exchange, an alternative handset, or a refund. The Note 7 carries the Galaxy branding, and the hard work that Samsung has put in to create a trickle-down effect of success and style will now work in the other direction as the flames of exploding batteries tarnish the entire range.

Samsung was likely expecting this weekend to be one where it could leverage some of the failings of the new iPhone handsets into positive PR for the Note 7. Instead it is facing a communications tsunami that threatens to wash away all of the good work of DJ Koh since he started to turn around the mobile division after taking over in December 2015.

The effects of the Note 7 battery will be felt by Samsung, and the smartphone industry. The decisions made by the South Korean company over the next few days will likely shape the market for years to come, and are certain to have an impact on Samsung’s fortunes.

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