Three months ago, Samsung issued what many consider the biggest recall in the history of technology, almost 2 billion devices. It would reportedly cost the company around $5.3 billion. Now, it seems like they finally reached a conclusion as to why the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were catching fire. Samsung announced the result of the investigation through an official report which they released on Sunday night. They offered more details regarding the issues of the smartphone and why did this entire mess happen.
The batteries are at fault
Samsung repeatedly said that their aim was a one hundred per cent recall of the problematic smartphone. Now, three months later, the company seems close to its goal. Its recall is of 96 per cent. However, the source of all problems were reportedly some battery construction issues. Samsung reportedly used two suppliers for the construction of the Note 7 smartphone: Samsung SDI and Amperex Technology Ltd. The problem is that both of them reportedly had issues with the batteries from the very beginning. Let’s remember that after the initial recall and replacement which Samsung conducted, the phones were still catching fire.
With the SDI batteries, the investigation showed that the corner of the case of the battery was too small. Because of this, the negative electrodes which were there ended up bending. The battery short-circuited and this was what reportedly cause the phones to catch fire and even explode in some cases. It is interesting that one of Samsung’s consulting companies discovered that almost one hundred per cent of the phones were having this issue. This should come as a warning to those people who are still using a Note 7 device. They should return it as quickly as possible because there is still danger there.
The replacement issue
According to the report from Samsung, the second set of batteries, which could be found in the replacement smartphones, were also dangerous and faulty. They did not have the electrodes issue, but another one. The batteries reportedly had some welding burrs, which came from the manufacturer’s “poor work”. So, during charging or discharging, those burrs would scrape the insulation of the battery. This made it thinner and thinner and eventually caused the phones to catch fire.
Moreover, as Samsung reports, some of these batteries did not even have insulation tape at all. This is a very big problem because those phones still ended up in the hands of the users. This would make one wonder if somebody ever checked those batteries before putting them inside one of the best smartphones on the market.
As for how will Samsung make sure that such disasters will not happen again, they said that they now have a “battery safety check process”. This reportedly includes the same steps which helped them determine the cause of the Note 7 problem. For example, they would use an x-ray machine and disassemble the batteries manually, in order to see the issue. All in all, it is normal for Samsung to do everything to convince the customers that such a thing is never going to happen again. After all, their upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone is near and they need to get out of the hole they fell in, after the Note 7 episode.
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