Samsung has no idea why the Galaxy Note 7 is exploding

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If you’ve missed all the commotion, Samsung is discontinuing its Galaxy Note 7. Due to a design flaw, the phone had a tendency to explode, but even after switching battery suppliers, the same defect continued to happen. So, Samsung’s nixing it altogether, but a new report from The New York Times indicated that Samsung actually has no idea why the Galaxy Note 7 is exploding.

According to The New York Times, Samsung urged hundreds of its own employees to figure out why the smartphone battery was suddenly exploding. The employees were unable to get the smartphone to explode and decided that it must have been because of faulty batteries coming from Samsung SDI.

The easy way to fix that is to just use a different supplier, right? Possibly, but Samsung didn’t have great luck with that method, either. After switching to the new supplier and producing 2.5 million replacement units, those replacements suddenly started exploding as well. Employees went back to figuring out why it was continuing to explode, but The New York Times says they’ve had no luck diagnosing the problem.

From The New York Times:

“Company engineers went back to the drawing board, according to a person briefed on the test process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the internal workings were confidential. As of this week, Samsung’s testers were still unable to reproduce the explosions.”

Obviously now, it’s too late to fix the problem, as the publication says itself. After all, the longer the Galaxy Note 7 is out there, the higher risk the risk is for Samsung to be liable for burns, even more property damage and potentially even fatalities, though thankfully none have been reported. That’s not a reputation a company wants, and so, it was obviously time to scrap it.

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Samsung is facing huge financial losses because of this discontinuation. $17 billion has been wiped from their market value, and they’ve even cut their estimates on profits for the quarter.

But who’s to blame for the problem? Well, The New York Times says management may have actually compounded the problem because of the company culture:

“Internally, Samsung’s corporate culture may also have compounded any issues. Two former Samsung employees, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation from the company, described the workplace as militaristic, with a top-down approach where orders came from people high above who did not necessarily understand how product technologies actually worked.”

It would be intriguing to know why the devices were still exploding, even after the switch in suppliers. But, since Samsung itself doesn’t even know what happened due to the complexity of the problem going beyond even the chip board and design, we’ll likely never find out.

source: The New York Times


About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.


  • Paladin

    They’d better find the cause, or next year they won’t be able to sell any “new-design” phone in their inventory for fear it will explode. The only way people will trust buying a samsung again is if samsung certifies they found the problem and now knows how to avoid it in the future. It might be goodbye samsung forever in another year.

  • Major Sceptic

    It’s a bit of a shame when the initial
    problem occurred Samsung didn’t just put a hold onto the product until a definitive answer was found, I guess it’s easy to say in hindsight.
    Just imagine the hullabaloo if it was to turn out it was something other than a handset problem, but in fact a cabling/charger problem that caused the device become delayed action fire starter.