Samsung’s Note 7 Disaster Started Over Sticking It To Apple


As Apple has rolled out the iPhone 7 and enjoyed the usual success an iPhone launch brings the company, Samsung has been struggling to get the Note 7 off the shelves. The exploding batteries of the Note 7, and the ensuing chaos as the company botched the recall, left nearly 90% of the phones in consumer hands and Samsung with a growing stack of lawsuits. But how did one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of electronics send out such a dangerous product? They saw a chance to stick it to Apple with their “boring” iPhone 7.

It hasn’t been a secret for a while that the iPhone 7 wasn’t going to be particularly revolutionary by Apple standards, and Samsung saw it, apparently, as a chance to ding their rival and eat into their market share. So, among other things, Samsung’s board decided it should have a 3500 maH battery compared to Apple’s 2900 maH battery. But it wasn’t engineered to take the stress, according to Bloomberg’s excellent in-depth analysis of the fiasco:

The initial conclusions indicated an error in production that put pressure on plates within the battery cells. That in turn brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat that caused the battery to explode. The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was more explicit when his agency announced an official recall on Thursday. He said the phone’s battery was slightly too big for its compartment and the tight space pinched the battery, causing a short circuit.

As for using the Note 7, while it’s still not completely clear what’s happening, the short answer is: Don’t. Contact your wireless provider about the recall and see what they say. In the case of explosions and fire near your face, or in your pants, better safe than sorry.