Galaxy Note 7 investigation concludes, pair of issues will cost Samsung $5 billion

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in General Discussion
Samsung has concluded its investigation involving the 2016 Galaxy Note 7 fires, and has determined that two different flaws resulted in the conflagrations in the failing devices, with one creeping in after a too-quick investigation.




Samsung notes that the root cause of the first fires involving the Galaxy Note 7 was a design flaw in the upper right corner of the battery, leading to short circuits in the "jelly roll" that comprises the Lithium-ion battery. However, in the replacement batch, a manufacturing issue crept in after the initial assessment of the failures, with an ultrasonic welding defect introduced in the second revision of the device pressing on the battery, and forcing a short circuit.

To prevent the issue from happening again, Samsung has deployed a new testing lab, which it showed during Sunday's press event discussing the issue. Independent testing companies Underwriter's Laboratory, Exponent, and TUV Rheinland concur with Samsung's assessment of the problem.

Samsung estimates that the final tally for the incident will exceed $5 billion in losses.

Referred to as the "Note 7 issue" by Samsung, problems of exploding or combusting handsets first surfaced shortly after the phablet device launched in August. Incidents were initially limited to South Korea, but the problem soon spread to international launch countries. Mainstream media outlets took notice when dozens of Note 7 fires cropped up in the U.S.

The ongoing issue prompted Samsung to halt shipments in late August, later deciding to activate a voluntary global recall of some 2.5 million devices. Samsung attempted a quick fix and issued replacement hardware, but those units suffered from the second defect detailed on Sunday.

Galaxy Note 7 sales were officially halted on Oct. 10, with Samsung announcing a permanent discontinuation of the line a day later.

The company publicly apologized for the apparent quality issues, at one point taking out a full-page ad in major news outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. The Galaxy Note 7 was the first topic discussed during Samsung's keynote address at CES in early January.

After a firmware update was forced to the phones to prevent them from charging, Verizon has announced it will soon redirect calls from "several thousand" remaining Note 7 users to customer support, urging them to replace the phone. It is not clear how the charge-blocking firmware was escaped by the holdouts.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Lol! Awesome! I love seeing karma slap thieves in the face!

    "Over $5 billion"
    Since Samsung likes to under exagerate their bad numbers(and over exaggerate good) I see this being even higher. $6 billion?
    mejsricjbdragonbrakkenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,038member
    I'm starting to believe in karma.
    mejsricjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 40
    1st1st Posts: 443member
    1st issue was concluded as dimensional - too large battery for the unit... wondering how could that happen? tolerance issue?  look like silly to not even have extra space for battery - not mention design margin for risk tolerance... something fishy...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 40
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    cali said:
    Lol! Awesome! I love seeing karma slap thieves in the face!

    "Over $5 billion"
    Since Samsung likes to under exagerate their bad numbers(and over exaggerate good) I see this being even higher. $6 billion?
    If you count future earnings and loss of reputation, the loss is likely more like $10B, so it's a massive clusterfuck.
    calinetmagejbdragonbrakkenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    1st said:
    1st issue was concluded as dimensional - too large battery for the unit... wondering how could that happen? tolerance issue?  look like silly to not even have extra space for battery - not mention design margin for risk tolerance... something fishy...

    Not quite. I'm sure all the "experts" are taking that to mean they were right, but Samsung clearly stated the battery casing couldn't properly contain the internal cell. That's NOT the same as saying the battery doesn't fit inside the compartment of the phone.

    If you compare the pics you'll see the second battery didn't have the same curve on the battery casing which is what caused the plates of the cell to deflect. There was also a second problem with the first battery where the electrode didn't terminate in the correct location.
    1stnetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,867moderator
    Court system, meet karma, the ultimate arbiter.  
    andrewj5790pscooter63mejsriccaliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 40
    boredumbboredumb Posts: 1,418member
    So...Samsung's innovative technologies can incinerate both phones and cash...
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 40
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,926member
    This is obviously bad news for Apple.

    you see, if Apple had a battery issue with an iPhone model, it'll cost significantly more than $5b. This terrible for Apple. 
    /s

    pscooter63caliStrangeDaysbrakkenwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,492member
    Gotta give them credit for bringing independent test agencies like UL and TUV to assess the cause of the specific failure. However, they should also follow through with these same agencies to ensure that their development, testing, and safety/risk assessment processes they have in place meet industry acceptable standards so similar issues that put customers and the general public at great risk do not crop up again in the future.
    singularity
  • Reply 10 of 40
    I wonder if they'll re-release the Note7 at a lower price point while selling the Note8 as the latest and greatest. They still sell the Note5 so it's been done.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    sennensennen Posts: 1,472member
    "At a press conference on Monday, Samsung officials said exhaustive tests on tens of thousands of devices and batteries had ruled out any problems with the device’s hardware or software."
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/23/samsung-blames-faulty-batteries-for-causing-galaxy-note-7-fires

    Hmm. The battery is not part of the device's hardware?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    Translation: They replaced the rushed initial release with another rushed release and in the process turned their brand into a punchline.

    All to get to market ahead of the iPhone 7...
    caliradarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    foggyhill said:
    cali said:
    Lol! Awesome! I love seeing karma slap thieves in the face!

    "Over $5 billion"
    Since Samsung likes to under exagerate their bad numbers(and over exaggerate good) I see this being even higher. $6 billion?
    If you count future earnings and loss of reputation, the loss is likely more like $10B, so it's a massive clusterfuck.

    I don't know. People tend to forget pretty soon, or be pretty forgiving. If Samsung foregoes the "Note" brand and names the devices something else, I'd be very surprised.


    I don't think they'll sell any less than what they did with the Note 7 before they started exploding. Samsung may have a snazzy ad campaign and could possibly bait a lot of people again.


    Tech-savvy Android users may have shifted to the Pixel, but that's about it.

    edited January 2017
  • Reply 14 of 40
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,075member
    1st said:
    1st issue was concluded as dimensional - too large battery for the unit... wondering how could that happen? tolerance issue?  look like silly to not even have extra space for battery - not mention design margin for risk tolerance... something fishy...

    Not quite. I'm sure all the "experts" are taking that to mean they were right, but Samsung clearly stated the battery casing couldn't properly contain the internal cell. That's NOT the same as saying the battery doesn't fit inside the compartment of the phone.

    If you compare the pics you'll see the second battery didn't have the same curve on the battery casing which is what caused the plates of the cell to deflect. There was also a second problem with the first battery where the electrode didn't terminate in the correct location.


    I believe a defective battery, only the ones made by Samsung, was what Samsung said that was the problem with some of the first batch of exploding phones. However, the second batch, after the "fix" of replacing the defective Samsung batteries, they say, was caused by a defect in the ultrasonic welding that pressed against the battery and causing it to short. I assume the weld is on the phone itself. The wording make it seem as though they actually changed the design of the battery compartment on second batch of phones, rather than just replace the defective batteries. Or they made some sort of modification to the first batch of phones that were returned from the first recall.

    Which I find suspicious because they always claimed the problem with the first batch was a defective battery. Why make any design changes to the phone if the problem was just a defective battery to begin with? Most likely the defective ultrasonic weld was always there but they didn't know it was a problem until after they released the second batch of "fixed" phones with new batteries. If they knew they needed more room in the battery compartment, they could have just made a sightly smaller battery for the second batch, instead of making any changes to the phone battery compartment itself, that required some sort of ultrasonic welding.  

    It could be that the ultrasonic welding had to do with replacing the battery on the phones, but even phones from the first batch, that didn't have the defective batteries made by Samsung, were exploding, due to the battery being shorted. So the defective ultrasonic weld was not just in the second batch of "fixed" phones. Samsung just failed to detect it as a problem during the first recall. Which is why they want to make it seem as though the defective weld was just on the second batch of phones, that they released after the first recall. Or they knew it was more than just an easily to fix, defective battery, issue to begin with and they were lying about it being to the consumers, about it being only a defective battery, all along. 

    And then one has to wonder if all of what Samsung is saying, as the reason for their exploding phones, just a smoke screen. Because blaming it on just a hardware failure that is unique to the 7, is not as damaging to their phone line as revealing that there might also have been a design flaw on how the battery was being charged, a flaw that might be on other phones, besides the 7.   
    edited January 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 40

    "Samsung notes that the root cause of the first fires involving the Galaxy Note 7 was a design flaw in the upper right corner of the battery, leading to short circuits in the "jelly roll" that comprises the Lithium-ion battery."

    Look at these iFixIt pics: 

    https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/llJn2B5hSNKWvphO.huge
    https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/GY4IeEkpVE2gUS4J.huge
    https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/WmuQx33scBxJHXFY.huge

    This was a new Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Now, imagine some more pressure during a week or two of usage.

    This may have caused some damage on the battery.


    edited January 2017
  • Reply 16 of 40
    cali said:
    Lol! Awesome! I love seeing karma slap thieves in the face!

    "Over $5 billion"
    Since Samsung likes to under exagerate their bad numbers(and over exaggerate good) I see this being even higher. $6 billion?
    Although all negative Points are true  (rushed release, not enough testing of the components and ultimately losing a lot of consumer's trust) there's no excuse for taking this situation as "karma". 

    The fact that the people who bought this phone were dangerously exposed to an explosive threat is neither "lol" nor "awesome". 

    There's still humans working at Samsung, like you and me, who tried to deliver a functioning and secure product. Yet you state this is Samsungs negative karma. Did the people who bought the phone deserve  being exposed to a safety threat? Did they deserve negative karma too? You should consider those questions before posting such an ignorant and immature comment. 

    edited January 2017 brucemc
  • Reply 17 of 40
    Soli said:
    I'm starting to believe in karma.
    Why? Because the people who bought the phone deserved being exposed to a safety threat because they deserved the negative karma too?

    You don't get the concept of karma at all, which is why you should not start believing in it. 
    brucemc
  • Reply 18 of 40
    looks like they're keeping the note brand but i'm sure they won't resurrect the 7 title anymore even it would be the lower price point device. maybe they'll come up with a note 5 SE? either way, i still don't care for samsung.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 40
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,867moderator
    cali said:
    Lol! Awesome! I love seeing karma slap thieves in the face!

    "Over $5 billion"
    Since Samsung likes to under exagerate their bad numbers(and over exaggerate good) I see this being even higher. $6 billion?
    Although all negative Points are true  (rushed release, not enough testing of the components and ultimately losing a lot of consumer's trust) there's no excuse for taking this situation as "karma". 

    The fact that the people who bought this phone were dangerously exposed to an explosive threat is neither "lol" nor "awesome". 

    There's still humans working at Samsung, like you and me, who tried to deliver a functioning and secure product. Yet you state this is Samsungs negative karma. Did the people who bought the phone deserve  being exposed to a safety threat? Did they deserve negative karma too? You should consider those questions before posting such an ignorant and immature comment. 

    Pretty sure the references to karma, itself just a catch-all for the balancing of justice, were, in all cases, referring to merely the entity that is Samsung. The same entity that was dragged into court by Apple. That entity did not refer to any of the specific workers on the production lines or the customers who bought Samsung phones, and neither does this reference to Samsung in the context of karma working against it. I think you're taking the whole attitude of the posters far too seriously. Nobody here is wishing ill on Samsung employees or customers.
    edited January 2017 StrangeDaysnetmagebrucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 40
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    $5B? For me the brand is permanently damaged. Only a fool would trust Samsung again after this.
    watto_cobra
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