Samsung details the cause of Note 7 battery fires


— 9:15 AM on January 23, 2017

So how about that Samsung Galaxy Note 7? The would-be Korean competitor to Apple's iPhone 7 ended up being a literal flaming disaster. It's a shame for several reasons, not the least of which that it seemed like a real nice phone. Samsung has completed its in-depth investigation and come to the conclusion that both the original battery and the model given out as a replacement in the first recall had completely separate defects that caused them to be prone to short-circuiting. The company held a press event in Korea early this morning to talk about what happened, and why it hopefully won't happen again.

Samsung found that the original battery suffered from an internal deflection of the negative electrode in the upper-right corner. For the second model, the company discovered that a welding burr on the positive electrode eventually broke the layers separating it from the negative electrode.

For its investigation, Samsung sought assistance from groups that had already performed their own research into the Note 7 fires, including Exponent, TUV Rheinland, and UL. Previously, industrial QA firm Instrumental seemed to believe that the issue was at least partially caused by the impossibly tight space tolerances inside the phone itself.


Samsung's new eight-point battery check procedure

There's little doubt that this high-profile fiasco has damaged Samsung's brand, at least in the smartphone arena. Moving forward, Samsung says it's implementing much stricter quality assurance testing, including an eight-point battery safety check. The company also assembled a "Battery Advisory Group" consisting of a number of folks with doctorate degrees in chemistry and engineering.

Whatever the case, what's done is done. Aside from a tiny minority of holdouts, buyers have returned their Note 7s and the FAA feels safe letting people fly without a warning about the handset.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
View options

This discussion is now closed.