Samsung permanently killed production of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, on Oct. 6 amid reports that the devices continued to burst into flames even after a global recall and release of replacement models fitted with different batteries.
Problems with the Note 7 began emerging just days after the Korean electronics corporation released it on Aug. 19. The highly anticipated smartphone had been on the market just two weeks when Samsung recalled all 2.5 million of the devices for safety purposes following a series of fires causing personal injury and property damage.
Under pressure to diagnose the problem, Samsung engineers attributed the defect to batteries it received from one of its two suppliers. The company produced more Note 7 devices using batteries from another supplier and sent them out into the world, but that solution failed.
The first clue that the phones were still defective came when a passenger’s replacement Note 7 burst into flames aboard a Southwest Airlines jet that was preparing for takeoff at Louisville Regional Airport. Additional reports of replacements blowing up trickled in, forcing Samsung back to the drawing board. The phones have now been banned on aircraft.
But after several days of unsuccessfully trying to reproduce and solve the problem, Samsung laid the Note 7 – the phone that was supposed to rival the iPhone – to rest. The Note 7 had a very short life.
The recall, extra production, and lost revenues directly related to the Galaxy Note 7 disaster cost Samsung as much as $5 billion, but that figure is small compared to the $18-billion loss in the company’s valuation following its announcement to quit the Note 7 completely.
Sources: Law360 and Righting Injustice
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