Samsung had high hopes for the Galaxy Note 7. The flagship was launched as the company reached the end of its record-breaking Q2 and all signs were pointing to continued sales momentum for Samsung because the Galaxy Note 7 had been very well received. Merely two weeks after the flagship was released Samsung had to confirm the battery cell defect, stop sales and issue a recall. Reports of explosions and bans kept pouring in over the past month but it kept its head down and quickly replaced all existing units. Samsung suffered a setback yesterday when it was reported that a replacement Galaxy Note 7 which was supposed to be safe exploded in the exact same manner as those before it. Federal officials in the US are now investigating the latest incident and if any more reports emerge of replacement units facing the same issue Samsung might find itself in trouble.
It won’t be an understatement to say that Samsung botched the Galaxy Note 7 launch, it has been suggested that this came to be as Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to beat the iPhone 7. Many would have expected heads to roll at Samsung and that too publicly but the company is standing behind top executives in these delicate times. It’s ironic how the head of Samsung’s mobile division Koh Dong-jin told fellow executives prior to the Galaxy Note 7’s launch in August how lucky he was to have been given control of Samsung’s cash cow just as it was turning its fortunes around after two years of stagnation. What followed after was a crisis that his predecessors didn’t have to go through even when the mobile business was under intense pressure in the market.
Samsung insiders say that so far nobody is pointing the finger at Koh for the botched launch internally but they do realize that he needs to get sales moving again to salvage the fourth quarter and defend market share against the iPhone 7. Samsung said in a statement that it’s not thinking about a management or organizational change and that it’s completely focused on the Galaxy Note 7 replacement program. The company has resumed sales of the Galaxy Note 7 in some markets and will continue to relaunch the device in additional markets down the road.
The company is not shying away from throwing its weight behind the Galaxy Note 7 even after the entire debacle. Some have suggested that the company should just discontinue the device and move on but Samsung’s chief marketing officer in Europe David Lowes has said that “We will give Note 7 all the support we were going to give it in the first place,” adding that “There is no backing away from it.”
Samsung is said to have created a dedicated team of public relations staff to enable prompt decision making and work on damage control. The recall is reportedly dominating internal meetings as Samsung seeks to salvage what could have been the best-selling Galaxy Note handset it ever released.