Burning Note 7s Leave Samsung Smoldering
As loyal readers will know, I use to be a big fan of Samsung. In fact, we are effectively a Samsung Family, with my wife, myself, and my son all using Samsung phones, tablets, and TVs. But a poor experience with a Samsung S7 edge duos (grey market at full price, poor reception, broken NFC and no hope for warranty service unless I travel to Taiwan) left me much out of love with this company and their products. I felt they were slipping. The Note 7 has perhaps proved me right.
The story is pretty amazing, actually. It’s been reported that Samsung rushed the Note 7 out the door to beat Apple’s Iphone 7 to market. That may or may not be true. What has been true is that shortly after the phone was released, reports of Samsung Note 7s catching fire started popping up, and those reports became more and more numerous. Samsung’s initial response was, well, muddled. Through a series of progressively odd blunders, the company has first denied the problem, admitted the problem, blamed it’s own battery subsidiary for the problem, started a voluntary exchange, finally issued a recall, and has exchanged the majority of the phones. In the middle they issued some software updates in some countries to limit charging to 60 or 80%, to try to stop the problem while people were waiting to exchange.
With all that, you would think that finally Samsung can put this mess behind them and move onto developing the upcoming S8. You would be wrong.
Reports this week started surfacing that replacement units were also catching fire. A number of these reports came out, and in the US, AT&T said they would no longer sell the phone and would offer exchanges to affected clients. T-Mobile has joined them in no longer selling the phone, which is a pretty major blow for Samsung.
The result today is that Samsung, according to the BBC and other sources, has paused production of the Note 7. Sites like Mashable and Techcrunch seem to be suggesting that it’s all over for the Note 7, likely a product that will be discontinued for the rest of this cycle. It seems pretty logical at this point that Samsung should just admit defeat and stop trying to push this any further, they have had a couple of swings at the ball, and they have solidly whiffed so far.
Discontinuing the Note 7 is the best solution here. Another failure would be a disaster for Samsung, and the time wasted trying to fix a product that is already “damaged goods” is probably wasted. I would even go so far as to suggest that Samsung may want to drop the Note name entirely and start a new series with their next pen driven product, the implications from this product are pretty bad. While Samsung is a big company with the resources to weather the storm, one has to wonder if this will be the issue that will allow some other company (such as Huawai or someone else) to take the crown as the leader of the Android market.
I really use to love Samsung. It seems like perhaps the end of my love affair with the company products wasn’t just random. Perhaps my experience with the S7 Edge duos was a precursor for the problems that are piling up at Samsung’s door.