Samsung Galaxy Note 7: The Cause Behind The Fires Revealed

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was launched back in August and it managed to get a record number of pre-orders and sales. However it was cut short when a manufacturing problem with the Note 7 came into light. Random Note 7’s started catching on fire and some were also exploding.

Samsung soon issued a recall so that they can be replaced. However, even the second batch of the Note 7 faced the same issues. Ultimately, Samsung had to halt production and discontinue all sales. It was so bad that, having a Note 7 on an airplane became a federal crime and there was a severe fine and/or imprisonment.

Many months passed in silence from Samsung, but now they have finally concluded their investigations and it was made public today.

The Investigation

In a report released by Samsung, it details flaws in its battery design and manufacturing.

According to Samsung, the investigation involved a dedicated staff of 700 people who tested 200,000 phones along with 30,000 additional batteries. They also tasked three important industry organizations (UL, Exponent, TUV Rheinland) to provide them with some objective analysis.

Every aspect of the process was reviewed ranging of hardware, software, assembly, testing to logistics in detail. Ultimately, a conclusion was reached and the battery was named as the main culprit.

Battery Issue

Lithium-ion batteries are arranged in the three layers. A positive electrode, a negative electrode and a third physical layer that acts as a wall between the first two and keeps them separate. However, if the positive and negative electrode were to touch each other, it can sometimes lead to short circuits within the battery.

Dong-jin Koh, Samsung’s Mobile business chief, in a press conference in Seoul, South Korea acknowledged that two separate instances of battery malfunctions had taken place. The first time before the recall and the second time after the recall with the second batch.

In the first set of batteries, the issue was with the upper right hand corner of the battery cell. The battery had an electro deflection and incorrect positioning of the tip of the negative electrode. The design flaw caused the electrodes to bend which led to the breakdown of the separation between the positive and negative electrodes, ultimately causing a short circuit.

The second set of batteries that Samsung used, came from a separate supplier. According to Samsung, there wasn’t any kind of design flaw with it but a manufacturing issue led to a welding defect which caused the battery to short circuit and ignite.

What Now?

Samsung has made it very clear that since they have identified the problem, extraordinary measures have been taken to further improve their quality assurance process.

An 8-point battery safety check has been developed that includes a number of tests. Technicians subject the devices to extreme conditions in order to reassure everyone about the safety of their devices. Future devices will be safer to use and will be tested more thoroughly down the production line.

Samsung has also confirmed that it will continue both its Galaxy and Galaxy Note products and will continue to innovate as it ensures a higher priority for product safety. The upcoming Galaxy S8 is also expected to be introduced in a few weeks.

  • The fact that Samsung still managed to close their business in green after this magnitude of a fiasco shows the built and lasting effects of their corporate morale and community trust!

    • Well actually… Q3 2016 profit for Samsung is around $4.7 billion. Q3 2015 for comparison was $6.63 billion.

      Just because it is green doesn’t mean they did not take a hit. Samsung is a laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge company, they make much more than phones and washing machines. So it is not surprising that other divisions of Samsung did well even if mobile division had to deal with recall of phones.

    • I would think so. Give them a chance. They’ve found the issue, and they have better testing. If phones blow up his time, the it’s probably best to look elsewhere for smartphones

  • Great work by Samsung in actually recognizing and owing the problem and then investing in investigation and eventually finding the root case of the problem unlike Pakistan jahan sirf yehi awaz ani thee keh jee bus kia karain Allah ki marzi thii..

      • He is actually right. Idhr kch hota to news me bs yay dhkae deta k ‘Committee bnadi gae h, wo investigate karaygain’. Na committee ka kbi zikr hona tha, na ksi nay investigate krna tha xD

      • Well you enlighten me since last 30 years in every disaster that we faced as a nation, when did the actual committee/researchers/investigators came up with some solid results that were shared and appropriate measure were taken to rectify them. If you ever heard other than Allah ki Marzi then let all of us know too so that we update our records.

        • As a Muslim and Pakistani mein sirf ek baat kahun ga k hum har kaam k kamyabi ki sirf “KOSHISH” kar sakte hain ham us kaam ka result nhn jaante, hamara kaam koshish karna hai aur result Allah pe chorh dena hai
          Is duniya mein har koi billionaire banna chahta hai par har koi to nhn banta na, Aur janab ap ki jo aakhri 2 line hain wo bilkul be buniyad hain is topic ko le kar, Parhe likhe ho to itna bhi show off mat karo k jahil lagne lago. Har cheez limit mein achi rehti hai

  • close