When Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was first launched, it was advertised as the best smartphone ever made. However, within a month, reports of exploding handsets arose. Samsung officially called in for a recall of Note 7 on September 15, 2016. After some of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from both the initial run and second run of replacement caught fire, Samsung has announced an expanded voluntary recall on all original and replacement of Galaxy Note7 devices.
Following several months of thorough investigations, Samsung Electronics has just announced the cause of the Note7 malfunction on January 22, 2017. During the press conference held in Seoul, Korea, Samsung also announced measures to prevent a reoccurrence of such incidents.
The President of the Samsung Mobile Communication Business, DJ Koh, shared detailed results of the analysis. DJ Koh also expressed his sincere apology and appreciation to Galaxy Note7 customers, mobile operators, retail and distribution partners and business partners for their patience and continued support.
Koh was accompanied by leading independent industry groups executives including – Sajeev Jesudas, President, Consumer Business Unit, UL, Kevin White, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Exponent, and Holger Kunz, Executive Vice President Products, TUV Rheinland AG groups. These groups performed their own investigation into various aspects of the Galaxy Note7 incidents.
During several months, around 700 Samsung researchers and engineers tested more than 200,000 fully assembled devices. Also, more than 30,000 batteries were tested to understand the malfunction. Samsung says substandard battery design and a rush to release an updated version caused overheating and explosion.
The company designed an infographic, which explains the problem in detail:
Based on the report, Samsung implemented a broad range of internal quality and safety processes. Especially the product safety includes additional protocols such as the multi-layer safety measures and 8-Point Battery Safety Check.
For better battery safety and innovation, Samsung also set up a Battery Advisory Group of external advisers, academics and research experts.
The Battery Advisory Group members include Clare Grey, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Gerbrand Ceder, Ph.D., Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, UC Berkeley, Yi Cui, Ph.D., Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University and Toru Amazutsumi, Ph.D., CEO, Amaz Techno-consultant.
Moreover, the South Korean giant also released an Infographic for better battery safety. This involved extreme testing of batteries followed by X-ray inspection and observation.
Take a look at the 8-Point Battery Safety Check Details:
According to the reports of UL on battery design, an amalgamation of deformation at the upper corners, thin separator and repeating mechanical stresses lead to one of the major failures in battery assembly.
Apparently, the battery was too large for the casing of the phone, with the initial batch of Note 7. This caused some devices to overheat. After the first recall, Samsung replaced the phone with a battery from a different supplier. However, due to an urge to get the new phones out sooner, the battery defect caused overheating again.
Watch the detailed video on why the Galaxy Note 7 exploded: “For the last several months, together with independent industry expert organizations, we conducted a detailed investigation to find cause to the Galaxy Note7 incidents” says Koh. “Today, we are committed to winning the trust of our customers through innovation. This redefines what is possible in safety, and as a gateway to unlimited possibilities and advanced experiences.”
Now that the problem is known, Samsung needs to overcome the challenge of proving the devices can be trusted. Let’s wait and watch for the release of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, this spring.