South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. concluded a months-long investigation into the explosive failures of its Note 7 smartphone, blaming faulty batteries from two different companies and reassuring consumers of safety precautions taken for its upcoming release, Reuters reported Monday.
The highly anticipated Note 7, which the company boasted as providing a longer battery life and faster charging, was released last August. The device quickly gained notoriety, however, as consumers began to report a major overheating issue that caused the phone to combust into smoke and flames. The device reportedly inflicted burning injuries on some customers and all major airlines banned Note 7’s from air travel. Samsung attempted to solve the problem through software updates and a battery replacement but ultimately was forced to recall the flawed device, resulting in a $5.3 billion profit loss.
A probe launched in order to determine what exactly caused the device to burn revealed Sunday that two batteries from two separate companies both managed to fail, contributing to the combustions. Samsung announced its results at a press conference hosted by the company’s mobile chief D.J. Koh and backed up by representatives of UL, Exponent, and TUV Rheinland, three independent safety evaluation groups that backed Samsung’s conclusion. The first battery, designed by Samsung SDI, did not leave enough room for it to expand and contract, causing it to short-circuit. The second post-recall battery contained inherent design flaws related to the welding of its sensitive electronics.
“The electronics [designed by Samsung] did not contribute to the failure of either manufacturer’s [battery] cells,” Kevin White, principal scientist for Exponent, said at the conference, according to CNET.
“The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process,” Koh said, according to Reuters. “Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust.”
Despite taking the multibillion-dollar loss on the Note 7, Samsung reported Tuesday a $7.9 billion quarterly profit, up 50 percent from this time last year. The company is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, specializing in mobile phones, televisions and semiconductors. The company is currently preparing to launch its next premium product, the Galaxy S8, in hopes of redeeming last year’s setback. The smartphone is set to be showcased Feb. 27 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and is expected to be released sometime this spring.