After initially blaming Chinese consumers of cooking their own phones, Samsung has finally decided to recall all 190,984 of its Galaxy Note 7s in the country. Samsung has warned customers to, “Stop using your device, back up your data and switch it off.” Reassuring words indeed…
A month ago, Samsung announced that its initial recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 handsets wouldn’t include phones exported to China. This, Samsung claimed, was because they shipped two versions of the phone. The version sent to China contained batteries made by Amperex, a company based in Hong Kong, whereas the version sent to the rest of the world contained “unsafe” lithium ion batteries, made by Samsung SDI. So, when Chinese consumers started to complain about their phones also spontaneously combusting, Samsung believed the damage had been, “brought about by heat from an external source,” reported the Financial Times.
There have already been 20 incidents involving overheating or fire-related accidents, according to the Chinese Government’s Inspection and Quarantine department. Fortunately, for Chinese consumers, thanks to 2.5 million devices already being recalled globally, there is a tried and tested compensation scheme in place. This scheme offers a full refund for returned phones, or a partial refund if the consumer wishes to swap the phone for an older model, such as the Galaxy S7.
Globally, Samsung has already been issuing replacements for the small, explosive devices. Dee Decasa from Hawaii was one of the “lucky” individuals sent a replacement device after hers was recalled. Yesterday, she posted a video of the replacement device sparking and emitting smoke to YouTube.
Apple might be hoping that this news will mean sales of the iPhone 7 will rocket, due to their similarity to the Galaxy Note 7, however, this may not be the case. Operating system are regularly the topic of heated debates between consumers because of their loyalty to either android or iOS software, so it is more likely that the “winners” of this chaos will be Google and their upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, according to Yahoo Finance. Homegrown smartphone brands such as Huawei and Oppo could also profit from Samsung’s failure, say IDC Research.
FedEx are refusing to carry defective Galaxy Note 7s and many others are accusing the Korean company of creating an environmental mess. It will be very interesting to see if Samsung comes out of this predicament unscathed, but one thing’s for sure, somebody at the company is getting fired.
By Seamus Gibson