In a bid to counter competition from Apple, South Korean electronics giant Samsung might well have accelerated the release of its flagship device Galaxy Note 7. And, according to a new report, this rush to take advantage could well be the reason behind the new device's battery woes. The Note 7 is now facing a recall as some its batteries turned out to be faulty causing explosions.
Bloomberg reports that Samsung pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite the addition of new features. These included a high-resolution curved edged screen, iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging battery, all of which was expected to be delivered at a much shorter time.
Samsung's motive to accelerate the process was to take advantage of the fact that Apple was not going to introduce any major upgrades to its iPhone 7 range as it has saved its innovative specifications for the iPhone 8 to be released in 2017. The positioning of the flagship phone with new features like iris scanner would give the company a strong hold on the premium smartphone segment for 2016 and Apple's allegations that Samsung was a copycat would be silenced for good, the Bloomberg report said.
However, just days after customers started using the device reports regarding battery explosion started making headlines. At first it seemed like stand alone cases, but weeks later Samsung was bound to acknowledge that there was indeed a fault in its batteries for Note 7.
On analysing the faulty batteries Samsung discovered that these belonged to its own subsidiary Samsung SDI which had supplied most of the batteries for the device. SDI surprisingly also supplies batteries to Apple, so how did this happen? It is possible that due to the pressure put by Samsung the component maker failed to comply with quality checks and other tests and missed spotting such a major fault.
The explosion of the batteries in some cases in fact has been so bad that users have registered complaint about property damages. In addition reports have also started surfacing on some other models from Samsung like the Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7 bursting into flames, putting further suspicion on the safety of devices from Samsung.
Samsung has also drawn criticism for the way it has conducted the recall process for the Note 7. Even before working out how millions of consumers in 10 countries would get replacements the company publicly announced the recall.
In addition it confused consumers when it asked users to first shut off their phones completely and the told people it would issue a software patch to prevent batteries from overheating. It also teamed up with government bodies like the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission to handle a recall of such a scale quite late.