Samsung says Note 7 overheating was caused by battery issues

Comments

  • Do Do

    You’re kidding

    • It’s Me

      Not buying it?

      Really, what else could they say except “yeah, we really did only have one problem and then there was another new problem. Really, that other problem was new, we didn’t miss it the first time”?

    • Do Do

      Actually when I wrote it, it was sarcasm directed at mobilesyrup that only had one small paragraph with the headline which didn’t say much. It’s now been updated of course. Not that it doesn’t still fit. I just hope this site is done with this story, at least until the Note 8 is released OR someone claims to know something factual that Samsung isn’t telling us about this subject. Otherwise I’m done with it.

  • southerndinner

    This is my surprised face

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  • Roger

    One more issue like this, Samsung will be done completely in the mobile industry. Hopefully they’ll get the next phones right.

    • dannyR

      phones right’?
      Are people bound and determined not to read a single paragraph of the matter?

    • Roger

      I was referring to the S8 and Note 8, or whatever it’ll be called. What do you mean by your statement?

    • Brad Fortin

      “One more issue like this, Samsung will be done completely in the mobile industry.”

      I doubt it. Companies this size tend to be pretty resilient, and they’d get to the same level as Sony, HTC, and BlackBerry before being “done completely”.

    • AJKahn

      I think after this fiasco, everyone would be going after Samsung anyway. Any other issue, people will try to find a way to burn the phone and blame it on them. Samsung, frankly, has become an easy target; not saying that it wasn’t their fault in this at all.

    • thereasoner

      There was lots of fake reports with the Note 7 already compounded by biased reporting. Samsung is just going to have to hold themselves to a higher standard moving forward because they won’t get any favouritism from tech press.

  • Techguru86

    So are they finished with having the worlds thinnest devices ? And finally putting a good battery into the devices ?

    • dannyR

      There are three phones thinner than Samsung’s thinnest, and their very thin tablet has no battery issues.

    • rick

      tablets don’t usually get put in pockets. Usually have a case and are dropped less often too.

    • Cowpoke Sal

      Hear, hear. I wish they’d ALL give up on this ‘thin is better’ BS.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Agreed. Give me a slightly bigger phone with a 35MaH battery and I’d be happy!

    • Brad Fortin

      Sounds like you could use a Sonim XP7 with a 4800 mAh battery.

    • Cowpoke Sal

      A what?!?

    • Brad Fortin

      A big phone with a big battery.

    • Cowpoke Sal

      Gotcha!

  • ciderrules

    Wow. So a total of 4 different faults in 2 different sets of batteries.

    • Cowpoke Sal

      Yarp. It’s like a day out at the zoo; what in tarnation are those crazy chimps gonna get up to next?!?

    • thereasoner

      I’d imagine that the “additional” flaw found for each are those probably responsible for rare and random occurrences that have been known to happen to all kinds of different phones both before and since the Note 7 battery debacle.

      Costly mistake for Samsung nevertheless but maybe something good can come out of this for consumers and we see safer batteries in general going forward.

    • h2oflyer

      Agreed that rare and random battery occurances have happened since the early phones.

      Is this just a crutch that Samsung is using in this release/spin?

      And yes, since they have focused all attention (rightly or wrongly) on the lith-ion batteries, we will all be safer with better designed and tested batteries FROM Samsung.

      How Samsung can build fantastic phones like the S7’s and Note 7 and suddenly not pay attention to battery supply still doesn’t wash.

    • thereasoner

      To use your car manufacturer analogy, how can all of them put faculty airbags in their cars from the same supplier? None of them caught the problem until after people were seriously injured or died. It happens, checks are in place now that weren’t present before, same for phone batteries now as well.

      The first recall falls inline with the airbag analogy while the second is being blamed on the rush to get replacement Notes out. I think both OEMs and battery suppliers will do better now as the Chinese company that supplied the second batch will have to put counter measures as well. LG is talking about heat pipes to deal with hot batteries and others are now working on fire retardant sleeves for batteries. We should all benefit from the added scrutiny and safety I would think.

    • h2oflyer

      Yes, we’re all going to benefit from this with better and safer lith-ion batteries. The batteries and us users come out ahead after this debacle, if this truly was the sole problem.

      Let’s see what other changes and improvements are coming with the S8 which has been delayed, I suppose for safety reasons. I guess they’re having trouble designing and sourcing a battery.

    • thereasoner

      My understanding is they’re going back to the April launch previously used for the Galaxy series in order to build up stock for the launch. 10 million was the number being floated. Google should consider doing the same for the Pixel 2.

  • dannyR

    I’d have to say it gives me confidence in Samsung that they were willing to throw a simply staggering amount of manpower into an extremely perplexing problem (or rather pair of unrelated problems) that was refusing to give up its secrets.

    Also that, lo and behold, it was not the chassis, or purported ‘clearance’ or any other element of the device itself, but battery design that they had no control over whatsoever. But they are going the extra mile and will provide more clearance for the battery.

    This is far more responsible than Steve Jobs’ infamous advice, just: ‘hold it different’.

    • ciderrules

      “Also that, lo and behold, it was not the chassis, or purported ‘clearance’ or any other element of the device itself, but battery design that they had no control over whatsoever.”

      Which is what I’ve said all along. Where are all those “engineers” now? The cell was deformed when it was installed into the battery casing itself, before it was even installed into the Note 7 chassis. Battery clearance inside the Note 7 wasn’t the problem and it had nothing to do with Samsung “rushing” the Note 7 to market.

    • rick

      Where does it say the battery was deformed prior to install?

    • h2oflyer

      The ” engineers” are not in the Kool aid line.

    • h2oflyer

      You really believe they had no control over the design? They issue a purchase request with performance specifications , then issue a purchase contract for millions of batteries, then don’t look at the design or test the battery in pilot assembly runs.

      This the most finely crafted spin ever. The amount they spent on this investigation probably came out of the marketing budget.

    • Brad Fortin

      “battery design that they had no control over whatsoever”

      No control? They made the first batch of batteries in-house at Samsung SDI, they had 100% control. That’s not even “spin”, that’s just an outright lie.

      “This is far more responsible than Steve Jobs’ infamous advice, just: ‘hold it different’.”

      Entirely different context. Samsung made a device with a life-threatening defect. Apple made a device that’s susceptible to the same signal loss as any other device when held in a death grip.

      Can’t say I’m surprised at who’s supporting your comment, though, since it’s full of praise for Samsung and vitriol for Apple.

  • thereasoner

    Now, on to April and the new Galaxy S8 phones. It will be interesting to see how Samsung has really come out of this. Reports so far have had almost all Note users sticking with Samsung and holiday sales better than last year with with the S7 out selling both the S6 and S5.

    That’s a good sign for Samsung but the S7 was already known to be okay having been released several months before the Note problems surfaced. Will the new S8 be treated as a safe device by consumers? The pre-order numbers should tell that tale.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      They will probably do something similiar with the S8 as they did with the S7 and bundle their VR set

    • rick

      oy – will people want to put these things up by their face. personally i’d opt for a speaker, ear buds, or gear watch ……….not something that puts the phone by my eyes.

    • thereasoner

      I get a heat warning on my Gear VR with my old (now my wife’s) S6. You do have the option to ignore the recommendation to stop playing until the device cools down but the choppy performance is such that waiting 5 minutes is pretty much necessary or it sucks.

      The S7 and presumably S8 etc have heat sinks in them now to help with that but either way you should know beforehand if there is an overheating issue when using the Gear VR.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      I recently bought the gear vr 2016 and the experience is amazing. But data usage is an issue with the hight quality content, so use it at home. So no problems there and it way more comfortable than the original Gear VR

  • George

    Well at the end of the day nothig is guranteed and sh*t happens.
    Those love Samsung still go with Samsung and apple die hard folks stick to their iphones.
    Nevertheless STILL I am enjoying 3 Note 7s I have. Charging to 100% and I love them!

    • ciderrules

      Better hope none of them starts a fire that causes significant property damage or injury to someone. You’ll have quite a time with the insurance company trying to explain why you never returned a potential fire hazard.

    • George

      Do you REALLY think what you mentioned never cross my mind? Or I never thought of potential consequneces or risks?!
      Hmmm…

    • Cameron Davidson

      Nevermind Cider… always thinks the sky’s going to fall.

    • Ulfredsson The Vanquisher

      I think Cider in this situation is being fairly pragmatic and considering a repercussions of George’s decision to ignore the recall.
      *Should* one of the phones fail and create a situation where someone is injured, property damaged, etc. there could be a snowball effect that causes bigger issues that you might not think of.

      Here are the facts as they stand:

      Only a small amount of phones blew up, however there was an identified defect in the manufacturing process and a worldwide recall issued.

      Since George let us know he’s got 3 Note 7’s, I’ll do some math here…. he’s 3 times more likely to experience an exploding battery.

      Since most people don’t carry 3 of the same phone on his/her person, let’s assume he’s given them to family. Let’s also assume one is a spouse and the other a child. What the actual f**k? Would you give anything potentially deadly to ANY family member?

      Wait… this is a clever ruse. He’s trying to kill his family. I see your plan George.

      I’m on to you.

      I’m in your head.

      You cannot escape.

    • Garrett Cooper

      #winning

    • Cowpoke Sal

      Well, what in tarnation is holdin’ it up, Mister Smart Guy…?

    • Rev0lver

      He’ll have a very simple conversation with his insurance company:

      “We’re not liable for any damages, you’re on your own.”

    • Cowpoke Sal

      …or, “You failed to mention untreated cretinism in your application so your policy is null and void. Have a nice day, chimp”

    • Kevin Pianoman Pleasants,

      You “sky is falling guys” there’s a difference between an explosion and catch fire. I’m sure there’s many things in George home and my home, car or wherever, that could catch fire. How about a cigarette hanging out of your mouth? Your gas fireplace, gas or electric range? How about the phone you have in your hand? The Note 7 fire was no different than any other fire hazard. Leave George alone, he’s a grown man and like myself have weighed the risk.

    • Rev0lver

      Except a fire caused by a recalled device that’s known to cause fires would completely invalidate any and all insurance he has.

      If the fire burns down his house and his neighbours home, that’s going to be about $400,000 – $1,000,000.

      Now, if a family was killed or harmed in the other home, then add multiple million to the liability that good ole George is on the hook for.

      So financial ruin and potentially killing yourself or an innocent bystander is worth keeping a phone over…

      Bright bunch you guys are….

    • Cowpoke Sal

      Hey guys! Could you fetch my ball, please?
      It’s on the other side of your local, rush-hour expressway…

  • Cowpoke Sal

    In a company statement, Samsung confirmed that the ‘over-heating has been caused by heat’ and the subsequent ignition of the device, causing total immolation ‘was caused by flames’.

  • MoYeung

    Apparently, battery replacement was the right decision all along.

    China, Hong Kong-based Amperex Technology has been making batteries for iPhone series since 2012.

  • h2oflyer

    Samsung only provided the target for their design specs to battery makers and wasn’t aware they were buying crap. BS They have been making and selling cell phones for how many years ?? They discover they were buying crap from battery supplier #1 and start buying from supplier #2 with a problem, and decide not to find supplier #3 , and instead shut down their most successful phone ever. RIGHT

    It took this long to carefully craft a blame statement on two suppliers with different problems BUT Samsung was smart enough to figure this out at launch and shut the Note 7 down with a forecasted loss of billions. They still haven’t told us their technical reason for the immediate shut down.

    All those other low end Chinese phones being produced at cut throat prices with suppliers scrambling to supply cheap batteries……..and no problems.

    Samsung now wants to establish safety standards and start a better testing policy. Why all the secrecy until now ? They could have nurtured customer support by releasing on going reports of their blame on their crappy suppliers.

    I still say there is more to this secretive delayed spin. I’m sure it was done in all honesty with no bribery.

    • thereasoner

      I’m thinking that after 2 recalls the Note 7 was a liability for them even if the causes could be determined faster. It was better for Samsung to move on at that point regardless.

      As for keeping testing and results secret for two reasons it was the right thing to do. For one, why continue to keep the image damaging Note in the news every day? They might as well have risked a 3rd recall if they were doing that. Second, the 3rd party labs doing their own verification tests hadn’t yet completed them and it wasn’t know until they were done whether that verification was coming or whether they would find other problems.

    • h2oflyer

      They took a quarter year and 700 engineers testing 200,000 phones and 30,000 batteries while still making and buying batteries for all of their other phones. AND CONSUMER SAFETY wasn’t any concern. And now it is.

      They couldn’t have looked at both S7 batteries (which worked) and compare them to the suspected bad Note 7 battery to figure out why one was OK and the other wasn’t.

    • thereasoner

      I think that the Note 7 battery size was new and unique to it. Not sure but other batteries sizes are probably more common and had a safety track record behind them.

    • rick

      Totally agree – the difference I believe is those low end Chinese phones simply left a big enough physical space in their phones for the battery. The slightest deformation of the s7 due to a drop or even in your pocket put enough pressure on the battery to cause flames. That squarely leads to a design issue with the size of the phone…….or they should have put a smaller battery in the phone.

    • Brad Fortin

      Don’t forget that battery supplier #1 was… Samsung. Their own battery division.

  • Rob S

    I appreciate what Samsung has done here, however, I’m not sure I feel any more confident in their phones or any other phone for that matter. With this light being shed on the manufacturing of smartphones I feel less confident about the industry as a whole. There seem to be too many “chance” abnormalities due to expedited manufacturing process. Perhaps the best thing to come out of this is the “enhanced” x-ray inspection – if it allows them to catch abnormalities they haven’t considered.

    • Adderbox76

      Exactly this. I’ve always “known” that specifications need to be exacting; but to know that literally microns in error can be the difference between a phone and a bomb insofar as the battery technology that ALL companies use…. Well let’s just say I’m glad I use a BT headset and at least keep it away from my face.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Hope that BT headset doesn’t use a similar type battery….

    • h2oflyer

      ALL companies use lith-ion battery technology….they just know how to make safe batteries. This is nothing more than a BS marketing spin.Samsung has been designing and making lith-ion phone batteries for years and they’re suddenly gone stupid. Right!

    • rick

      And just wait until the car industry ramps up trying to accommodate batteries. There’ll be the same challenges there, but a much bigger fire.

      And people say gas is flammable and combustible engines are dangerous. Imagine a cars battery pack going up………….

    • h2oflyer

      Tesla batteries are made by Panasonic…..the best lith-ion battery manufacturer….not Samsung.

    • rick

      So panasonic batteries are immune to deformation and puncture then? wow – fantastic.

      People always want to throw out how dangerous a combustable engine is to a battery. Bunk. What happens to gas when the gas tank is deformed……….nothing. What happens when the tank is punctured – nothing. You need something to ignite the fuel. How many explosions are there when vehicles are in an accident in the last 10 years. When you consider how many vehicles on the road its fractions.

      What happens to a battery when its deformed or punctured in an accident……well looks to me like batteries burst into flames in a very violent manner.

    • h2oflyer

      Good lith-ion batteries such as Panasonic are not immune to punctures and accidents. They are made properly and don’t self ignite.

      Tesla makes their own lith-ion batteries now in their own plant in partnership with Panasonic. Previously the Tesla battery pack used over 8,000 Panasonic cylindrical cells. I don’t recall hearing about any self destruct fires. Yes there were fires after accident caused punctures.

  • KiwiBri

    such a shame. The note 7 was a great device from what I saw. It would have been great competition to the other devices out there

  • rick

    Sorry, but I still read this as “we tried to cram a battery that was too big physically for the physical size of the phone” on battery a issue. Meaning I don’t see it as a manufacturing issue with batteries, but a design flaw on the size of the phone………or the size of the battery.

    • thereasoner

      If I read it right, the manufacturer tried to place battery cells on a sleeve that was too small. This resulted in the upper right corner of the battery to bend causing the positive and negative touch. Atleast that was one explanation. The other had to do with the internal layer of film that separates positive from negative breaking during rushed manufacturing in an attempt to provide Samsung with as many batteries as fast as possible during the second recall.

      As far as I know from various stories at least 3 independent labs have found the same issues while verifying Samsungs results.

    • h2oflyer

      And I’m sure the independent labs can only release their reports to Samsung.

    • thereasoner

      The other way around. Samsung released their findings to them several weeks ago and as far as I’m aware only the one in the United States, UL , wanted to do more testing still.

      You can be sure that we’d all here about it if UL does find something eles, they are a respected authority for safety certification for North America and abroad and they have offices in 46 countries. Any new electronic products sold here that has their mark on it must meet both the safety standards that they set and those set by governing bodies, they can refuse certification if standards are not met.

      “Underwriters Laboratories is a world leader in product safety testing and certification. For more than 100 years manufacturers have had their merchandise evaluated and tested for safety risks by our independent 3rd party safety certification organization. Last year alone approximately 14 billion products with the UL mark entered the Global market place.”

      The Korean equivalent of UL also tested and verified Samsungs findings but UL themselves are absolutely the best at what they do. You can be absolutely sure that if UL has any doubts then the Galaxy S8, or any other smartphone from Samsung or other OEMs would not receive their mark of certification.

    • h2oflyer

      As far as I know UL gives the report to whomever generates the test request and pays for it. Have you seen a copy? My S7 doesn’t have the UL mark….does that mean it’s unsafe? Yet thy are going ahead with UL certification of the battery. This is all a diversion . As they said on another site this is long on battery science and short on truth and apology.

    • thereasoner

      I posted a link to UL website awhile back but apparently it won’t be approved. You can check their website for info on their battery certification for phone batteries and other components.

      My point was that a report isn’t even necessary, we would know if something fails to achieve UL standards, it’s public knowledge and for phones a simple tear down would do it.That and these labs are free to comment regardless, UL already has made a comment about wanting to do even more testing on the Note 7. You can be sure that it would be public knowledge if Samsung failed to get any single component certified or if UL finds something else in addition to battery issues just by their refusal to certify alone.

      I understand that you feel that something else is responsible or atleast shares responsibility and that may indeed be the case but it doesn’t take away from the validity of these reported results. It’s the conspiracy theory equivalent of saying that we didn’t go to the moon to insist that Samsung along with the most respected independent labs in the world and no less than 2 different battery suppliers conspired to fool people and for what? So two battery suppliers could throw themselves under a bus ?

      You miss the point that Samsung is responsible regardless, it’s way too late for “spin” as the damage was done already…And “short on truth and apology” really?…you also apparently have missed what feels like dozens of apologies by them and prefer conspiracy theory over simple truth.

    • h2oflyer

      So you are trying to tell me that if I design a product and send it to UL for certification and it fails their standards they will public tell the whole world that it failed. You are so buying this nonsense.

      They have supported their secretive and delayed failure release by including MENTION of inspection agencies to try and lend a bit of credibility to the talk. It seems to have worked as you can’t get enough of this marketing spin.

      Don’t believe in conspiracy. But I do possess a bit of common sense and a technical background acquired over the years. It’s called experience. I was “certified” many, many years ago, but that doesn’t count….what does is what I’ve learned since. It’s called exploring the facts, detecting, and looking at why you are trying to convince me of something.

    • thereasoner

      Nope, I’m saying that we’d know anyway that it’s not UL certified, we wouldn’t need UL to tell us.

      I’ll gladly buy what you’re selling here but you’ve got to give good reasons why these independent labs aren’t saying that they disagree with the findings. It’s not like they’re not allowed to make statements to the press on the matter, they have done so.

      Not that any of it matters anyways. Up until now the conspiracy theories have ruled the articles written about the Note 7 and Samsung still managed year over year gains in smartphones despite reports that you prefer and the Note 7 debacle itself.

    • h2oflyer

      I love my s7 which I consider the best android phone ever after switching from many years of Sony phones. But, I have zero love for sleazy Samsung who have climbed to the top of the phone sales heap through dubious and sleazy tactics, including dirty marketing. This Note7 failure explanation proves it to me.

      And btw it was Daniel Bader from AndroidCentral (ex mobilesyrup) who made the comment ” long on battery science and short on truth and apology” and knows a heck of a lot more about this industry than you or I.

      Yes, I will probably get the regular S8 after a couple of months to make sure it’s OK. Why not? It’ll probably be a great phone.

    • thereasoner

      Many are saying that they’ll wait before buying, it should be interesting to see Samsungs pre-order demand.

      I’ve liked my Samsung (S3 and S6) phones as well but my new favorite is my current Pixel. Still, I may get the S8 when my contract for the S6 is up.

      Personally, I’m not turned off by the battery debacle or these reported results and while I realize that Samsung has been quite sleazy on the corporate side of things I think that they did right by the consumers with the Note 7 and that has them coming out of it pretty good so far. Minus the staggering financial losses that is.

    • h2oflyer

      That’s what makes a great debate. You think Sammy did great on their “explanation” and I don’t. Let’s agree to disagree until the next phone dragon needs slaying.

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