Samsung has completed their official investigation into why some of their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones burst into flames. The official culprit? It was the battery!
A Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) investigation into what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire has concluded that the battery was the main reason, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
The results of the investigation will likely be announced on January 23, one day before the South Korean electronics firm announces its detailed fourth-quarter results, says Reuters’ source.
Samsung Allegedly Rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to Market
It has long been believed that Samsung rushed the release of the Galaxy Note 7 in order to beat Apple’s iPhone 7 to market. This lead to the company imposing tighter deadlines on suppliers, which may have then caused the faulty batteries not being discovered before the handset went to market.
Samsung initially announced the recall of some 2.5 million Note 7 handsets in September, saying the fires were caused by a manufacturing process issue at one of its suppliers. However, when replacement handsets which were powered by what Samsung said were safe batteries from another supplier continued to catch fire, the company was forced to halt all sales of the device and recall all of the affected handsets. Samsung’s operating profit is said to have taken a $5.2 billion hit because of the fiasco.
The company announced an investigation in October, saying it would examine all aspects of the device, including hardware and software. The company indicated it would hire third-party firms to participate in the probe.
Analysts say Samsung has to be completely upfront, and offer a detailed explanation as to what went wrong with the Galaxy Note 7, and explain the steps it is taking to ensure the fiasco won’t happen again if it expects to regain the trust of consumers.
“They’ve got to make sure they come clean and they’ve got to reassure buyers as to why this won’t happen again,” Bryan Ma, Singapore-based analyst for researcher IDC told Reuters.
“To me, it’d be surprising if they said it was a supplier issue,” said Ma, who suspects Samsung simply didn’t make enough room for the battery inside the handset.