Galaxy Note 7's main flaw finally revealed

UPDATE: A source has revealed which component is the main cause behind the explosive Galaxy Note 7 incidents

UPDATE 16/1/2016: Reuters' source says that Samsung has found the main reason behind the combusting Galaxy Note 7 is, as much supposed, the battery.

The company has managed finally to replicate the fires in its own testing and is taking measures to ensure similar incidents do not happen again. According to the source, the cause "could not be explained by hardware design or software-related matters".

However, it is hoped Samsung will itself present a more detailed explanation of what exactly caused the batteries to catch fire the way they did. It will be the only real way to get investors and the public truly confident in the safety of the company's future flagships.

UPDATE 3/1/2016: According to the Korean paper JoongAng Iibo, Samsung will be revealing the results of an investigation into what was behind issues with some Galaxy Note 7 phones.

The paper cited unnamed sources, while Samsung itself refused to comment on the veracity of the story. Still, it would be good to hear some news after the company's previous vow that it would all it took to pinpoint the exact reason behind the phone's problems.

A reveal would probably help the company gain back some consumer confidence, after the Note 7 debacle of last year. It's unlikely the company will make the announcement at CES itself - Samsung will probably place more emphasis on its new phones.



Story so far

UPDATE 28/12/2016: To holdouts refusing to return or exchange the Galaxy Note 7 phones, your time is up.

Amanz reported that Samsung has sent out notifications to its Malaysian users that the Note 7 will be remotely "powered down to zero" by 9pm, 31 December 2016. This means the battery will not be able to hold a charge, rendering the Note 7 unusable.

Either choose a refund or an exchange to the Galaxy S7 Edge because by New Year's Eve, Galaxy Note 7 devices in Malaysia will no longer run. Best hightail it to the nearest Samsung service centre if you are one of the unlucky people affected.

UPDATE 9/12/2016: The Verge reported receiving an image showing a message that states the Galaxy Note 7 will soon no longer work in the US.

The text read “As of December 15th, Samsung will modify the software to prevent the Galaxy Note 7 from charging. The phone will no longer work.”

With the recent news that Canada and New Zealand Galaxy Note 7 devices have been banned from cellular networks and had their Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functions disabled remotely, it seems that Samsung is planning to kill the devices permanently whether customers like it or not.

It's not a surprise considering how hard it's been to get some particularly stubborn customers to either return or exchange their Galaxy Note 7 devices.


So if you're one of the holdouts, it might finally be time to give up on the phone. Return the phone, obtain your refund or exchange it for the Galaxy Edge S7 and bid farewell to one of the best phones of 2016.

UPDATE 30/11/2016: The Korea Herald just reported that Samsung will soon release the results of its probe on the cause of the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices.

The battery is considered a key part of the problem and likely to be the point of ignition, but until now no one has been sure about what caused the fires.

Depending on the results, it could decide whether Samsung disposes of the remaining Galaxy Note 7 devices or will be able to sell them off as refurbished units.

Release of the results will at least help shore up consumer confidence, which Samsung will need next year especially with all the new tech that will come in 2017.

28/10/2016 UPDATE: Samsung Malaysia has confirmed that in Malaysia, Galaxy Note 7 owners will have only the option of either a full refund or an exchange to the Galaxy S7 Edge. Only an exchange with the Galaxy S7 Edge is allowable, with no option to choose other Samsung smartphones.

The reason behind this is that procedures will differ from market to market, in Malaysia's case the phone was never officially launched here unlike in other countries such as South Korea. Galaxy Note 7 users are advised to turn in their phones as soon as possible for safety reasons.

25/10/2016 UPDATE: Reuters reported that Samsung is offering an upgrade option its Galaxy Note 7 customers, if they trade in their phones for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.

Those who trade-in their devices will be able to trade up to a Galaxy S8 or Note 8. This confirms that Samsung will be retaining the Note line, contrary to rumours that Samsung was considering killing it after the bad publicity from the recall.

With the upgrade program, customers will pay only half the price of a Galaxy S7 device and receive an upgrade to either the Galaxy S8 or a Note 8.

As to the availability of the program in other countries, Samsung stated that it would be dependent on the situation in different countries. So far, there has been no news of similar programs in other countries as yet.

21/10/2016 UPDATE: Korea Herald reports that Samsung is considering offering cash discounts on future phones to customers affected by the Galaxy Note 7 mass recall.

The discounts would likely to be applied to purchases of the next as-yet-unknown Samsung flagship phone out next year. This is in response to angry customers who are now considering lawsuits to obtain better compensation from the company.

In Korea, Galaxy Note 7 users are receiving vouchers as well as credit on their mobile bills - only if they replace their Note 7 devices with Samsung phones, of course.

20/10/2016 UPDATE: Malaysia Airports has just posted on its social media channels that Samsung kiosks are now available at the following locations at KLIA and KLIA 2:

  1. KLIA - Samsung Booth (next to the Emirates Ticketing Counter) Level 5, Main Terminal Building
  2. KLIA2 - Samsung Booth (next to the escalator), Level 3A, Main Terminal Building

Customers will be given the option of either a full refund or being given a loan device. As to why a full device exchange (to a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge) is not an option, we have contacted Samsung for clarification. Affected customers are advised to call the Samsung helpline at 1800-88-9999.

19/10/2016 UPDATE: Ars Technica reported Samsung has set up kiosks where customers can turn in the Galaxy Note 7, at airports in Australia, though one kiosk has been spotted at the San Francisco Airport.

To date, there has been no confirmation as yet whether those kiosks will expand to other countries. At the moment it has become a federal crime to bring a Galaxy Note 7 onboard a flight in the US; the phone has also been banned by most major airlines.

Additional text by Elissa Loi

11/10/2016 UPDATE Bloomberg reports that Samsung is ending production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

With the death of the Note 7 now official we ask what Samsung needs to do next to limit the damage done.

11/10/2016 UPDATE: Reuters reported Samsung has, in a statement, asked users of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices "power down and stop using the device". South Korea's own transport ministry has also weighed in, saying that the devices should not be allowed to be used or charged on flights.

10/10/2016 UPDATE: Samsung Singapore speaks out

"We are temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters."

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that Samsung was temporarily suspending Galaxy Note 7 production with the cooperation of authorities in the US and China, according to an unnamed source.

Samsung had issued replacement units for earlier Galaxy Note 7 devices that had been deemed at risk for overheating to the point of possibly self-destructing. Unfortunately reports soon surfaced of replacement units overheating and spewing smoke without warning; one incident happening on a Southwest flight and another one happening soon after at Nicholasville in the US. 

The Nicholasville incident was particularly noteworthy due to a text the fauly device owner, Michael Klering, says he received by accident from a Samsung executive. Said executive supposedly sent this message:

Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it

Samsung has more to worry about than a PR gaffe: two US carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile have also just announced they will stop selling Galaxy Note 7 devices out of safety concerns as few more reports of faulty replacement devices are coming in.

The most recent incident with a Galaxy Note 7 is of a device in Houston, Texas that caught fire while on a table. It had just been replaced at a Best Buy in late September. Could this be the premature end of the Galaxy Note 7? If Samsung doesn't figure out just what is behind all the device fires, it might very well be.

If you own a Galaxy Note 7 device, you have to return it for either a refund or a different Samsung model.

[Source: CNBC, Verge]