While Samsung s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have been faring well, the same can t be said about the company s latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 7. In just a few days after going on sale in select countries, a handful of incidents about the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire and exploding have been reported. To ensure safety and to conduct quality check, Samsung has halted the global production and shipments. However, for those who remember, Nokia had faced a similar issue back in 2007 with the BL-5C battery. Also Read - Nokia Clarity, Comfort, Micro, Go Earbuds Series with ANC launched: Price, featuresAlso Read - Nokia C30 budget phone launched with price under Rs 10,000: Check specs, price
After a series of issues were being reported, Nokia carried out its investigation. Batteries manufactured by Japan’s Matsushita Battery Industrial Co. between December 2005 and November 2006 were found to be problematic. The company later recalled the susceptible batteries that had the risk of explosion. After investigation, Nokia had reached a conclusion where overheating could cause short circuit while charging, this causing the battery to dislodge. Also Read - Samsung reveals Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3 features officially, S Pen support confirmed
As many as 46 million devices across the globe were potentially at threat of explosion. The BL-5C, a 1,020mAh battery, was widely used in more than 50 Nokia smartphone models. This included the likes of Nokia 1100, Nokia 2300 and other black and white display phones, to the color screen phones such Nokia 6230, Nokia 6600, and early smartphones such as Nokia N-series N72, N70, N91, and also the business phones Nokia E50 and E60. The scale was unprecedented.
Nokia started by announcing the issue publicly and kickstarted what was the biggest recall ever in mobile phone history. It built a serial number checker on its website, where users could enter the battery serial number to verify if it belongs to the affected batch. It made it easy for users to check whether their batteries were affected and ensured the exchange process was seamless. People who did not have access to the internet could also visit stores and service centers to find out whether their batteries were affected and get them replaced. Nokia didn’t hide anything and was open and transparent about the scale of the issue and how it planned to resolve it. ALSO READ: Samsung explains why Galaxy Note 7 batteries are exploding
Now, coming back to Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the issue has been found on the ones manufactured by Samsung s SDI. While Samsung didn t elaborate what exactly went wrong during the manufacturing process, it did mention that the issue has been with the battery cell. The company had so far witnessed 35 cases of the battery exploding or catching fire and we are hearing more reports post Samsung’s coming out.
An overheating of the battery cell occurred when the anode-to-cathode came into contact which is a very rare manufacturing process error, Samsung said. Each battery comes with separators to ensure anode and cathode don t come in contact when the current flows. However, the same wasn t done properly during the manufacturing process. RELATED: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is the new hoverboard, here s why
The surprising bit here is rather than showing a sense of urgency, Samsung is merely requesting users to exchange their devices. It wasn’t Samsung but the US government bodies that first advised Galaxy Note 7 users in the US to stop using their devices. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 banned by DGCA from flights in India
Similarly the US-based airline safety regulator, FAA, urged passengers to not carry the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 onboard an aircraft. India s aviation regulator, DGCA, has also prohibited from using the phablet in the aircraft, even though it has not officially gone on sale in India.
Sanchit Vir Gogia (@s_v_g) September 10, 2016
Cabin announcement on my Lufthansa flight, ‘The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is not allowed on this flight due to safety concerns.’
Jason Gordon (@jasongordonhk) September 10, 2016
Already airlines are making announcements onboard singling out the Galaxy Note 7, urging passengers with the device to not use it or put it on charging while onboard. There cannot be a bigger embarrassment for any brand and had Samsung been proactive, it wouldn’t have come to this. Samsung knew there was a problem, it might not have been widescale but the incidents could have been fatal not just for the users themselves but those in their vicinity. The issue was bigger than just a question of saving face.
It is still early days, considering the Galaxy Note 7 had just started shipping and hadn’t even gone on sale in many countries including India. The damage has been done but Samsung still has a chance to do the right thing, which would be recalling the units immediately rather than just telling users that they have the option to exchange their brand new Galaxy Note 7.