Samsung reportedly clueless about the cause of the Galaxy Note 7’s battery failures

In less than two months the Galaxy Note 7 has gone from being hailed as one of Samsung’s best smartphones to its worst failure. The company will no longer produce and sell the Galaxy Note 7 but questions remain. How can a company like Samsung with years of experience under its belt and infinite resources at its disposal botch a smartphone in such spectacular fashion? If a new report published in The New York Times today is to be believed, the company is as clueless about this as the rest of us.

The report mentions that when several Galaxy Note 7 units exploded soon after launch in August, Samsung went into overdrive and deputed “hundreds of employees” to find the cause. They ran all kinds of stress tests on the handset but they were unable to get a single unit to explode. Since they were on a tight deadline, the company’s engineers concluded that this was a battery cell defect. Samsung then announced a recall, assured customers that it was now sourcing batteries from another supplier and that replacement units will no longer have this issue. That didn’t work as well because replacement Galaxy Note 7 units have been catching fire in the exact same fashion.

Citing a person who was briefed on the company’s test process, Samsung engineers “went back to the drawing board” to try and ascertain what was causing the latest incidents but management decided that it was time to bite the bullet and discontinue the Galaxy Note 7. The report claims that Samsung engineers have not been able to reproduce the explosions as of this week.

There are some unofficial theories floating online. One suggests that there might have been another battery flaw that spread to the production line. The another claims that the fast charging feature is to be blamed for this. Samsung is yet to officially disclose a reason and if it’s unable to come up with one it’s likely that we’ll have to wait for some clarity on this entire debacle.


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