Samsung has finally revealed its findings from a probe into what caused its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to burst into flames after the phone went on sale last September, confirming reports from an insider from last week.
It appears that two separate battery-related issues were to blame. The first was a design flaw in the upper right corner of the battery that caused the electrodes to bend and cause a short circuit; the second problem came about when Samsung used batteries from a different supplier, which had a welding defect that also caused them to short circuit and ignite.
The company noted at a press conference in Seoul today that the investigation was conducted by 700 dedicated staff, who tested 200,000 phones and 30,000 additional batteries. The results were validated by similar findings by three external firms.
Does that let Samsung off the hook? While the issues may not trace back to the handset’s design, it’s ultimately down to the company to thoroughly test its products before putting them in the hands of customers – particularly if those flaws can put people’s lives at risk.
Samsung said it’s doubling down on its internal quality processes to prevent such mishaps in the future; it’ll introduce new safety checks for batteries and also form a Battery Advisory Group with external advisors and various experts to stay on top of battery safety and innovation.
With the company is set to launch its new flagship for 2017, the Galaxy S8, in the coming months, it remains to be seen if Samsung can earn back the trust of its fans and the mobile market at large.