Industry so far 'lukewarm' towards Samsung's post-Note 7 battery testing standards

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Carriers and phone makers have so far largely ignored Samsung's efforts to promote its new battery testing procedure -- created in the aftermath of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 -- as a possible industry standard, a report said on Friday.




Those companies largely consider their existing safety procedures to be good enough, according to interviews conducted by CNET. Some are, however, said to be quietly investigating the issue of battery safety based on data Samsung shared with the public.

"I'm sure the engineers will be looking at the info Samsung made public," said a phone maker spokesman who asked CNET not to be identified. "I'm sure every [phone maker] will be doing the same."

The Samsung procedure involves eight different steps: visual inspection, an x-ray, charge/discharge, leak testing, disassembling, accelerated usage, checks for voltage changes, and finally several durability tests involving punctures, overcharging, and extreme temperature ranges.

Prior to the Note 7, Samsung reportedly relied on tests conducted by its battery suppliers, but is now conducting tests of its own as well.

One phone maker, LG, noted that its latest device -- the G6 -- went through battery puncture testing. Motorola simply said that it does internal testing, providing "an additional level beyond industry standards," and gets certification from third-party labs. TCL, which assembles Alcatel and BlackBerry devices, did acknowledge reviewing supplier methods after the Note 7 fires, but concluded it was in good shape.

For the most part there are few industry-wide battery standards, beyond limited testing done by carriers, or the requirements of groups like the CTIA, which represents companies in the U.S. wireless industry.

Apple has generally been quiet about how it tests for battery safety. It has only rarely had to deal with iPhone fire incidents, though other battery problems have occasionally crept up. Late last year, it launched a battery swap program for the iPhone 6s to cope with sudden shutdowns in some units.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,822member
    I'm guessing Apple has been conducting their own battery tests for a long time. They are too high profile and sell too many devices to rely simply on the word of a supplier.
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,078member
    On the various tech blogs Samsung supporters are dismissing the concerns. Whether that goes for the general public remains to be seen. All it will take is ONE reported battery failure and that ship will sink. And you know the tech blogs will be salivating trying to find any failures. Samsung has a long row to hoe for this release. My position is still that the tech giants should pool their resources and start a ‘Manhattan Project’ for battery technology. So-called ‘solid state’ batteries would be a good place to start. Give Dr. Goodenough a blank check and turn him loose.
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 23
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,031member
    Isn't it the case that those batteries themselves were never a problem. It is HOW they were installed and the size of the internal compartment is what created the problem.
    How can those battery tests address those issues if they only test batteries?
    jony0
  • Reply 4 of 23
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 422member
    I love how they're trying to get some sort of credit for fixing a very dangerous situation that they themselves created. Samsung gonna be Samsung.
    anton zuykovcaliSpamSandwichsuddenly newtonjony0Royfbwatto_cobracolinng
  • Reply 5 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,564member
    You can bet that Verizon is going to be in Samsung shorts over this. They are not going to want a repeat of this issue. Verizon is very conservative when it comes to thing like things catching fire. Yes Samsung has to restore confident in the buying public, but Companies like VZ are not so easily won over they actual have engineers who know what they are doing and know when a Supplier is not doing what is required. This was part of the Battle with getting the Iphone on VZ network in years past, VZ what to do their own testing before they will sell a product which works on their network.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,564member
    Isn't it the case that those batteries themselves were never a problem. It is HOW they were installed and the size of the internal compartment is what created the problem.
    How can those battery tests address those issues if they only test batteries?

    It was never made clear what the actual root cause was. I personally suspect, it was the fact they rushed a new batter size to market, did not do all the necessary testing, they implemented wireless charging along with quick rapid charging and then squeezed it into a small package. I believe it was the charging circuitry and the software they were using to charge the batter which caused the battery to go into failure condition they did not test for. I worked on failure analysis like this and it take a long time to get to actually root cause when there are so many variable. The only true way to prove you found the root cause it to fix it that one thing, then test if goes away good, but you have to remove that one fix and see if the problem reproduces. I never believe Samsung went through the process.
    ewtheckmanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 23
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,031member
    maestro64 said:
    Isn't it the case that those batteries themselves were never a problem. It is HOW they were installed and the size of the internal compartment is what created the problem.
    How can those battery tests address those issues if they only test batteries?

    It was never made clear what the actual root cause was. I personally suspect, it was the fact they rushed a new batter size to market, did not do all the necessary testing, they implemented wireless charging along with quick rapid charging and then squeezed it into a small package. I believe it was the charging circuitry and the software they were using to charge the batter which caused the battery to go into failure condition they did not test for. I worked on failure analysis like this and it take a long time to get to actually root cause when there are so many variable. The only true way to prove you found the root cause it to fix it that one thing, then test if goes away good, but you have to remove that one fix and see if the problem reproduces. I never believe Samsung went through the process.
    AFAIK there were some XRay images of troubled batteries.
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/01/galaxy-note-7-investigation-blames-small-battery-cases-poor-welding/
    Slide 3, in particular
    edited March 2017 ewtheckman
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,594member
    I'm seeing the most bizarre Samsung commercials in the U.K.  

    Theyre not telling you what the phone can do; they just spend a minute or two showing off all the equipment used to test the phones. 

    Nothing to test whether or not it'll explode though. 
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    The key is not packing in so much innovation that it becomes uncontrollable.
    jony0
  • Reply 10 of 23
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    maestro64 said:
    Isn't it the case that those batteries themselves were never a problem. It is HOW they were installed and the size of the internal compartment is what created the problem.
    How can those battery tests address those issues if they only test batteries?

    It was never made clear what the actual root cause was. I personally suspect, it was the fact they rushed a new batter size to market, did not do all the necessary testing, they implemented wireless charging along with quick rapid charging and then squeezed it into a small package. I believe it was the charging circuitry and the software they were using to charge the batter which caused the battery to go into failure condition they did not test for. I worked on failure analysis like this and it take a long time to get to actually root cause when there are so many variable. The only true way to prove you found the root cause it to fix it that one thing, then test if goes away good, but you have to remove that one fix and see if the problem reproduces. I never believe Samsung went through the process.
    AFAIK there were some XRay images of troubled batteries.
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/01/galaxy-note-7-investigation-blames-small-battery-cases-poor-welding/
    Slide 3, in particular
    Everything I've read, points not to a battery fault but a design fault in the casing - too small with no margin of error to allow for thermal expansion which then caused internal battery malfunction. I'm guessing Samsung thinks that blaming their battery division with a specific 'fault' rather than admitting their woefully inadequate QC failures at many levels throughout management that almost guaranteed battery failure...is a better option.Their testing ads are laughable. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    fullesfulles Posts: 7member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I'm seeing the most bizarre Samsung commercials in the U.K.  

    Theyre not telling you what the phone can do; they just spend a minute or two showing off all the equipment used to test the phones. 

    Nothing to test whether or not it'll explode though. 

    Always makes me smile when I see that advert.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,564member
    maestro64 said:
    Isn't it the case that those batteries themselves were never a problem. It is HOW they were installed and the size of the internal compartment is what created the problem.
    How can those battery tests address those issues if they only test batteries?

    It was never made clear what the actual root cause was. I personally suspect, it was the fact they rushed a new batter size to market, did not do all the necessary testing, they implemented wireless charging along with quick rapid charging and then squeezed it into a small package. I believe it was the charging circuitry and the software they were using to charge the batter which caused the battery to go into failure condition they did not test for. I worked on failure analysis like this and it take a long time to get to actually root cause when there are so many variable. The only true way to prove you found the root cause it to fix it that one thing, then test if goes away good, but you have to remove that one fix and see if the problem reproduces. I never believe Samsung went through the process.
    AFAIK there were some XRay images of troubled batteries.
    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/01/galaxy-note-7-investigation-blames-small-battery-cases-poor-welding/
    Slide 3, in particular

    Here is my issue with this report, and as I said, I have lots of experience with doing root cause failure analysis like this. All the pictures of the batteries which caught fire, the ignition points were not near the corners as they are showing in the x-ray. Some were at the edge and others in the middle or near the ends. They has failure points all over the place. The analysis trying to say the electrode (which it said was all the negative one) were bend together, shorting negative to negative does not cause a short circuit. I think the were charging the batteries way to fast and the quick heating of the battery cause minor defects like the one they showed in the other manufactures defect to accelerate to failure. All battery packs have some level of defects in the insulation layers, the question come about if the defect opens up enough to allow electrons to punch through and short to the next conductive layer.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,113member
    1: Look at battery.
    2: Shake battery.
    3: Look at battery again.
    4: If battery is not on fire, approve and move to next battery.
    Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,078member
    maestro64 said:
    You can bet that Verizon is going to be in Samsung shorts over this. They are not going to want a repeat of this issue. Verizon is very conservative when it comes to thing like things catching fire. Yes Samsung has to restore confident in the buying public, but Companies like VZ are not so easily won over they actual have engineers who know what they are doing and know when a Supplier is not doing what is required. This was part of the Battle with getting the Iphone on VZ network in years past, VZ what to do their own testing before they will sell a product which works on their network.
    But wasn’t Verizon the carrier who refused to send out the update to finally brick the Note 7? Didn’t they also skip the update to limit battery charge to 60%?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,822member
    1: Look at battery.
    2: Shake battery.
    3: Look at battery again.
    4: If battery is not on fire, approve and move to next battery.
    I think that can reduced to ONLY #4 with Samsung.
    brucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Soli said:
    I'm guessing Apple has been conducting their own battery tests for a long time. They are too high profile and sell too many devices to rely simply on the word of a supplier.
    After trusting the supplier, they ended up replacing thousands of 5 & 6s batteries. 
    You better believe they have their own tests. 

    The silver lining of the Samsung debacle is that the consumer will wake up and have an understanding that the device they keep in their pocket can explode if handled incorrectly. Plus it's not just the combustion that is dangerous, it's the fumes emitted that can kill you.  We as a public never worried about batteries before with portable devices. Now even airlines are warning the public not to move their chairs when they drop their phones or tablets and get stuck between them. 

    We also have to understand that the battery in our devices are not a magical item that keeps your device powered all day and can keep up with phone calls, location services, and background tasks, connectivity to wifi and Bluetooth and have a bright display without ever needing a charge.  Everything your iPhone does takes power to do it. Even when it's in your pocket "doing nothing". It's staying connected to a cellular tower and it might not be a tower close by if the network is busy or the closest tower isn't working. It's also talking to your email server, checking its location for any apps or system that requests it and much, much more. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,822member
    Soli said:
    I'm guessing Apple has been conducting their own battery tests for a long time. They are too high profile and sell too many devices to rely simply on the word of a supplier.
    After trusting the supplier, they ended up replacing thousands of 5 & 6s batteries. 
    You better believe they have their own tests. 

    The silver lining of the Samsung debacle is that the consumer will wake up and have an understanding that the device they keep in their pocket can explode if handled incorrectly. Plus it's not just the combustion that is dangerous, it's the fumes emitted that can kill you.  We as a public never worried about batteries before with portable devices. Now even airlines are warning the public not to move their chairs when they drop their phones or tablets and get stuck between them. 

    We also have to understand that the battery in our devices are not a magical item that keeps your device powered all day and can keep up with phone calls, location services, and background tasks, connectivity to wifi and Bluetooth and have a bright display without ever needing a charge.  Everything your iPhone does takes power to do it. Even when it's in your pocket "doing nothing". It's staying connected to a cellular tower and it might not be a tower close by if the network is busy or the closest tower isn't working. It's also talking to your email server, checking its location for any apps or system that requests it and much, much more. 
    Even then I'm sure they conducted their own tests long before then. The issues with those batteries involved longevity, and while that seemed to be large batches, it's still batches nonetheless. It really comes do how much time and money do you want to invest in testing 3rd-party components as every test will eat into profits. Of course, that has to be measured against the cost of a recalls, lawsuits, potential loss of sales, and brand degradation. Apple sells so many of the same device and has a healthy profit margin, that it's easily in their favor to do more checks than other vendors, but there's always a possibility of an issue because you can't reasonably test every battery for every possible scenario and still expect to use it in a shipping device.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 23
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,618member
    lkrupp said:
    On the various tech blogs Samsung supporters are dismissing the concerns. Whether that goes for the general public remains to be seen. All it will take is ONE reported battery failure and that ship will sink. And you know the tech blogs will be salivating trying to find any failures. Samsung has a long row to hoe for this release. My position is still that the tech giants should pool their resources and start a ‘Manhattan Project’ for battery technology. So-called ‘solid state’ batteries would be a good place to start. Give Dr. Goodenough a blank check and turn him loose.
    It's stunning that Fandroids don't address the elephant in the room.  "Nothing to see here, move along".   And they have the nerve to refer to Apple enthusiasts as sheep.  

    When AntennaGate and BendGate occurred, Fandroids wanted Apple's head on a platter, but HEY... Samsung's exploding batteries burning down homes, and filling plane cabins with smoke??  Barely a whimper.  Disgusting.

    I agree... Samsung's next model will be under such an intense microscope that I think could be a make-it-or-break-it for Samsung.  They know that too...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 23
    sflocal said:
    lkrupp said:
    On the various tech blogs Samsung supporters are dismissing the concerns. Whether that goes for the general public remains to be seen. All it will take is ONE reported battery failure and that ship will sink. And you know the tech blogs will be salivating trying to find any failures. Samsung has a long row to hoe for this release. My position is still that the tech giants should pool their resources and start a ‘Manhattan Project’ for battery technology. So-called ‘solid state’ batteries would be a good place to start. Give Dr. Goodenough a blank check and turn him loose.
    It's stunning that Fandroids don't address the elephant in the room.  "Nothing to see here, move along".   And they have the nerve to refer to Apple enthusiasts as sheep.  

    When AntennaGate and BendGate occurred, Fandroids wanted Apple's head on a platter, but HEY... Samsung's exploding batteries burning down homes, and filling plane cabins with smoke??  Barely a whimper.  Disgusting.

    I agree... Samsung's next model will be under such an intense microscope that I think could be a make-it-or-break-it for Samsung.  They know that too...
    I have read a few sites comments sections and most android users are very wary of buying another Samsung device. Some are considering buying a "gulp" iPhone. 😱
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 23
    sflocal said:
    lkrupp said:
    On the various tech blogs Samsung supporters are dismissing the concerns. Whether that goes for the general public remains to be seen. All it will take is ONE reported battery failure and that ship will sink. And you know the tech blogs will be salivating trying to find any failures. Samsung has a long row to hoe for this release. My position is still that the tech giants should pool their resources and start a ‘Manhattan Project’ for battery technology. So-called ‘solid state’ batteries would be a good place to start. Give Dr. Goodenough a blank check and turn him loose.
    It's stunning that Fandroids don't address the elephant in the room.  "Nothing to see here, move along".   And they have the nerve to refer to Apple enthusiasts as sheep.  

    When AntennaGate and BendGate occurred, Fandroids wanted Apple's head on a platter, but HEY... Samsung's exploding batteries burning down homes, and filling plane cabins with smoke??  Barely a whimper.  Disgusting.

    I agree... Samsung's next model will be under such an intense microscope that I think could be a make-it-or-break-it for Samsung.  They know that too...

    See, Fandroids are different from Samsung supporters (or fanboys whichever you would like to call them). I am a Fandroid, but not a Samsung supporter. Never owned a Samsung phone, but still a Fandroid (of Moto phones) and have an ipad air (no good quality tabs in android world, you know). It is a known fact that Samsung's flagship sales have tanked after Note 7 debacle. So the argument that Samsung has not lost anything due to Note 7 failure is not factually correct.

    It is equally not correct to conclude that ALL Samsung phones pose a bomb threat to all people in the world (like people make it out in this forum). Because it is simply not true. Samsung is selling about 300 million phones (mostly mid range), but the battery failure occurred in ONLY one model among the 1000 models that Samsung produce every year.

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