Samsung halts production of exploding Galaxy Note7s for good

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Martyn Williams

It seems that creating an exploding smartphone was not a good business decision for Samsung.

Not that the electronics giant did it on purpose. But it did, nevertheless, create and sell millions of phones that were prone to catching on fire, and that has caught up with the company. And so, Samsung has finally, permanently, pulled Galaxy Note7 smartphones from the shelves. 

In IT Blogwatch, we watch it all unfold.

What exactly is happening? Choe Sang-Hun has the details:

Samsung Electronics is terminating production of its troubled Galaxy Note7 a major and embarrassing about-face for the South Korean electronics giant...Tuesday, Samsung said it had made a “final decision” to stop production...the company will no longer produce or market the smartphone.
Samsung...struggled with reports that the Note7 could overheat and catch fire because of a manufacturing flaw. Last month, the company said it would recall 2.5 million...phones, but in recent days, reports that the fixed version could also catch fire began to surface.

So what brought on this decision? Matt Hamblen adds some background:

Most U.S. carriers stopped sales and exchanges of the Note7 over the weekend...there are as many as seven reports of replacement Note7s that have overheated or caught fire or emitted smoke...the most disruptive incident led to heavy smoke billowing into the cabin of a parked Southwest Airlines flight...causing an evacuation.
As for what may have gone wrong...the original Note7 had one of two batteries installed -- one from a Chinese maker, the other made by Samsung. The Samsung batteries were deemed defective, so replacement units used batteries from the Chinese maker...If the Chinese maker's batteries are causing replacement units to catch fire or overheat, there is likely something wrong with the chemistry of the fast-charge mechanism.

What does this mean for Samsung? Well, it's not great. Se Young Lee fills us in:

Samsung's decision to pull Note 7s...for the second time in less than two months not only raises fresh doubts about the firm's quality control but could result in huge financial and reputational costs...[it] could cost Samsung up to $17 billion and tarnish its other phone products in the minds of consumers and carriers.

Of course, there is always an upside. Matt Lucas can think of other uses for the exploding devices: (Note: Don't actually try this at home.)

Running out of coal? Simply put a Galaxy Note 7 in the fireplace to keep warm this winter.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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