The One Failure That Changed Samsung Forever

When the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 went on sale on August 19, 2016, it was an instant hit for the company and sales exploded (via Korea Herald). However, it wasn’t too long before Galaxy Note 7 units started to explode literally, and soon after the whole Galaxy Note 7 launch imploded. The first report of a Galaxy Note 7 combusting hit the news on August 24, just a few days after customers first got the coveted device in their hands. We’ve all heard the occasional report about a random smartphone catching on fire due to battery-related issues, but this time around it soon became apparent there were deeper problems with Samsung’s then-new Galaxy model. Multiple reports about the Note 7 catching on fire emerged around the globe.

In September 2016, Samsung announced a voluntary recall of the 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones that it had sold in the roughly two weeks since it had gone on sale. The company blamed faulty batteries for the problem and offered refunds or replacement devices. It wasn’t long before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission called widespread attention to the formal recall (via CPSC), and things continued to go from bad to worse. On October 5, a report surfaced about a Note 7 overheating on a U.S. domestic flight — and that was a problem for more than one reason. The incident involved a replacement unit that had been equipped with a different battery. Subsequently, more reports of Note 7s going up in smoke, including replacement devices, made the news. U.S. carriers decided to stop selling the model and issuing replacement devices (via Recode).

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