Samsung announced yesterday it was putting an end to the production of its troublesome Galaxy Note7 phablet, but questions about what really made the phones catch fire continue to linger.
However, the issue is being looked into and today a new report coming in from Bloomberg announced investigators now believe the recent overheating incidents may be the results of a different battery flaw than the one that led to the initial recall.
The original Galaxy Note7 units were plagued by a battery flaw that occurred during the manufacturing process. An error in production allowed pressure to be placed on plates inside the battery cells, determining the negative and positive poles to come into contact and generate excessive heating. That’s how Galaxy Note7 smartphones started to emit smoke and burst into flames while they were charging.
Shortly after the first reports of smoking Galaxy Note7 started pouring in, Samsung issued a recall, while at the same time promising “safe” replacement Galaxy Note7 units.
Sadly, the new phablets were doomed to have the same fate as their predecessors. But there was something peculiar about these new Galaxy Note7s – they heated up despite not being in charging mode. So at the time it seemed the phablet’s battery issues were more complex than originally thought.
Today’s report suggests there are two independent issues at play responsible for the Galaxy Note7 debacle. Investigators have apparently discovered a new issue with replacement Galaxy Note 7 batteries, one that probably occurred in the supply line after Samsung started sending out replacement handsets.
It seems the batteries provided by Samsung SDI were a bit too large for the Note7 and this mismatch quickly led to overheating.
During the initial recall, Samsung abandoned the services of Samsung SDI and turned to Chinese company Amprerex Technology. The manufacturer was in charge for providing the battery for Note7 units sold in China, a country that wasn’t included in the first recall.
By the way, Amperex Technologies has also been doing business with Apple, supplying batteries for their iPhone lineup.
Now preliminary examinations seem to indicate that a fault exists with Galaxy Note7-bound Amperex-made batteries as well. Investigations are currently unfolding in the US, as well as in South Korea. The results should finally shed some light on where exactly Samsung went wrong and hopefully will help prevent such occurrences from ever happening in the future.
Needless to say, Samsung’s reputation has already been damaged beyond repair, there’s no way around that. The decision to kill off the infamous phablet sent the company’s share down 8% this week, shaving off in an instant $17 billion in market value. The worst is probably yet to come.