Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was meant to be the next "Big Thing" after the major success of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge to cement Samsung's lead over their biggest rival, Apple in the smartphone industry throughout 2016. However, after drastic turn of events, the Note 7 has became Samsung's worst ever smartphone invention to date. In August 2016, Samsung has received numerous reports on the Note 7 to suddenly explode and overheat causing major public concerns over the device's safety. Without hesitation, Samsung immediately recalled the 2.5 million Note 7 handsets and replaced them with new "Safe" ones with non-faulty batteries which the company exclaimed to be the cause of the first batch of exploding devices. But, even though it was a sensible move by the company, it turned out to be turmoil as more similar reports of overheating and exploding replacement Note 7s have emerged and Samsung finally stop the production of the smartphone and recalled all handsets including the replacement units. From the Note 7 fiasco, Samsung had lost nearly 17 billion US dollars from continuous lawsuits and recent recalls. A sad ending to such a brilliant device!
Why did this happen and how did it happen? What is the truth behind this explosive fiasco? Well, let's uncover the secrets of this mystery!
Galaxy Note 7 Specifications
First things first, we have to know the specifications of the device. Here are the specs of the Galaxy Note 7. The Note 7 packs a mighty 5.7 inch Super AMOLED screen with a maximum resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels and a pixel density of 518 ppi (Pixels Per Inch). The dimensions of the device are 6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches in diameter which weighs in a mere 169 g. The Note 7 is also IP 68 waterproof together with its stylus and it comes in a range of colors including black, gold, gray and blue respectively. The phone has a fingerprint scanner located on the home button as well as an Iris scanner located just alongside the front-facing camera lens for improved security at your fingertips. The phone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow equipped with TouchWiz UI as of other recent Galaxy devices over the years. The phone is powered by an Octa-core Exynos 8890 chipset clocked at 2.15GHz which is also backed by 4 GB of RAM for a buttery smooth smartphone performance. The device comes with 64 GB in-built storage with expansion of up to 256 GB via a micro SD card slot. The Note 7 packs a huge non-replaceable 3500 mAh lithium-ion battery with fast wireless charging capabilities. The focal point of the Galaxy Note 7 has to be the brilliant 12 MP main camera with F1.7 aperture size lens with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and even 4K UHD video recording capabilities. The front-facing 5 MP selfie camera with soft LED flash is decent enough to capture stunning shots for low-light selfie photography. So, those are the specs of the Galaxy Note 7 and those specs truly mean that Samsung is raising their game in the smartphone industry against the likes of Apple, HTC, Huawei and Sony but, unfortunately, it shows that they have raise it too much for the Note 5 successor.
The Note 7 has some state-of-the-art specs and all is well except for the 3500 mAh lithium-ion battery in its sleeve. As we all know, lithium-ion batteries are very useful to our daily electronics be it smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles or digital cameras, all of those devices use lithium-ion batteries as they are rechargeable and more effective towards their alkaline counterparts which can't be recharged too often and have a shorter self-life. Lithium-ion batteries are also a lot more smaller and slimmer than other rechargeable alternative battery cells which makes them a convenient source of power towards our daily gadgets. However, these batteries are highly flammable and dangerous when exposed to high-heat scenarios for a long period of time in which they can trigger the electrolytes within the battery cells to an uncontrolled state and eventually, they explode and catch fire without further notice. So, can the 3500 mAh lithium-ion battery of the Note 7 explode and cause the fiasco? The answer is YES! It could but not occasionally as it is extremely rare for a phone to overheat dramatically and thus, explode. According to an unnamed Samsung official, the outcome of the Note 7 fiasco only affects less than 0.01 percent of all the 2.5 million handsets sold and even if the batteries are at fault, then why does this only happen towards Samsung and not the other phone companies out there? Well, here's the clue.
Samsung's battery error
According to an unpublished report from the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, Samsung had a manufacturing error in the battery department which in turn has cause both the positive and negative poles of the battery to come in close contact with each other which ignited sparks to rupture throughout the lithium-filled liquid and eventually, explode. Samsung may have placed a huge amount of pressure towards the core of the battery which makes the electrolytes within the battery to become overly active and overheat before it bursts into flames. Luckily, the explosion only happens when the Note 7 is plugged in to charge so, if you don't charge your Note 7 then maybe you are safe but, who doesn't charge their device anyway so, everyone with a Note 7 is at risk. Why during charging hours? Well, as we all know, smartphones generate a lot of heat while they are charging as the current that flows from the charger throughout the battery is always constantly flowing non-stop to charge your device and this overflowing of electrical current causes both the charger and phone to overheat rapidly over time. Moreover, as companies continue to develop chargers with fast-charging capabilities which boosts the chargers to charge more quickly by producing more current per minute, the phone's batteries will overheat even more during charging and plus that with an initial battery fault, that's a perfect combination for an explosive recipe which ends the reign of the Galaxy Note 7. So, from this, it is clearly Samsung's fault with the Note 7's explosive fiasco but, the question is, why does this happen to Samsung and how could Samsung not respond in time to solve or stop the fiasco before it gets even worse? Well, it all comes down to the company's carelessness and stubborn actions towards the matter in hand.
Samsung's HUGE Mistake
Following the recent success of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the Note 7 was supposed to continue the reign of Samsung as the no.1 maker of smartphones and to have a fighting chance against Apple with its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus smartphones in the heavily contested mobile competition. However, the Note 7 has ended in complete turmoil in just a few months time due to faulty batteries and bad battery placements. But, Samsung could overcome the issue with ease if the right actions and commitment be taken in the nick of time. However, Samsung has failed to address the issue before it becomes even worse and eventually, became a massive disaster towards their smartphone supremacy. After the major success of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge last March 2016, Samsung immediately began further development of the next "Big Thing", the Galaxy Note 7! The company pushed to their limits to bring out the very best they could offer into the stylus device including the new Iris Scanner imbedded. But, as we all know, Samsung may have pushed too much into the battery department this time around as that itself has caused the Note 7 fiasco in the first place. So, in August 2016, Samsung finally launched the Note 7 and it went like a milestone in sales for the Note with its state-of-the-art specs and not so gimmick features set which wowed the public for a short while before the explosions occur a few weeks and months later. When the first batch of Note 7s exploded, Samsung did immediately recall all of the devices and replaced them with new ones but, to Samsung, these turn of events are just minor consequences and like the first Note 7s, the development of the replacements were also rushed to meet the demands of its customers and fans and in all of the generosity of their hard work, it soon failed as more replacement Note 7s exploded in the same way. If only Samsung had done better, the Note 7 would have become the best smartphone of late 2016 but, it didn't. So, could Samsung had done better? Yes, of course, in an alternative way, instead of recalling and replacing the devices simultaneously, Samsung could have done it in a step by step basis. After recalling all of the devices, Samsung could have given customers of the Note 7s other alternatives such as the S7 or S7 Edge temporarily while they address the battery problem which may take 2 to 3 months but, customers would be considerable back then and after 3 months, the Note 7 would have live "explosion" free at last! But, Samsung couldn't do that because if they did, they would have lost the race against their rivals, Apple with the iPhone 7 and when the Note 7 had finally arrived after resurrecting, it may be too late for the Korean Giant to reign supreme again. So, this addiction of competition towards Apple might disrupt Samsung in many ways we do not know but, sometimes, too much of something can be a massive disaster as proven by the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has failed to respond correctly and in time to relive the Note 7 in the highly contested smartphone market. This is surely Samsung's biggest mistake!
What's NEXT for Samsung?
So, the Note 7 has become a goner towards Samsung and from all of the commotion recently, Samsung had lost not only huge sums of money, but also its race against Apple's iPhone 7 late in the year which the latter had reign supreme in 2016. Alright, forget about the Note 7 and its dampening effects, what's next for the Korean Giant in 2017? Rumors and speculations have already been circling around regarding Samsung's next plan to binge the gap of the Note 7 with newly awaited smartphones in the likes of the Galaxy S8, S8 Edge, S8 Plus and even the successor of the Note 7, the Galaxy Note 8! However, Samsung may have to delay the release of the devices until supposedly, April 2017, to cope with the Note 7 agenda as Samsung are more focused on delivering better and safe batteries in its future smartphone lineups. In a recent finding, Samsung are in-talks with LG to supply them with new "Safer" batteries to be equipped to their future smartphones. This means that Samsung may be partnering with LG to develop better batteries for the Galaxy range of smartphones and the first Samsung phone to have a LG battery imbedded could well be the 2017 Galaxy S8 family. Its a sensible move by Samsung considering the company doesn't want to repeat the Note 7 disaster ever again but, they have to pay some sort of "Bonus" towards LG as they are using its batteries in their smartphones now, so, mutual benefits should be agreed. Besides, both of them are Korean tech companies to be honest. So, 2017 will be a resurrecting year for Samsung to relive their status and reputation as the leader in the highly contested smartphone market.
So, what have we learned from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco? Well, it goes to show that no matter how successful a company may be, disaster will always struck at unexpected scenarios and time in this world. Mistakes happen to all of us whether it be a company or even an individual but, for a company, mistakes such as the Note 7 disaster are extremely rare and uncommon especially towards a tech giant like Samsung. Samsung's carelessness towards the matter has been disturbing towards its customers and the public eye and hopefully, from the Note 7 incident, Samsung will pay more attention towards the safety of its devices in the future and let's hope we would not notice any more radical "Explosions" of smartphones ever again. It is a mistake Samsung really do not want to repeat itself ever again!