Samsung killed the Galaxy Note 7 by rushing replacements

JC Torres - Oct 24, 2016, 1:30am CDT
Samsung killed the Galaxy Note 7 by rushing replacements

“Haste makes waste.” That’s an almost universally accepted nugget of wisdom that some people feel they’re exempt from. That apparently includes Samsung, and now that folly is coming back to haunt it and bite it in the proverbial behind. Piecing together the timeline of incidents leading to the Galaxy Note 7’s untimely demise, the Wall Street Journal painted a picture of a company that, in the desperation to look decisive and take swift action, may have, instead, actually brought about an earlier and total destruction of the Galaxy Note 7 and, perhaps, the Galaxy Note brand as well.

On the one hand, the public expected Samsung to indeed act decisively and swiftly regarding the overheating and combusting problems that plagued the first batch of the Galaxy Note 7. Executives were, therefore, under a lot of pressure to not just make a statement but also replace the faulty devices. However, that meant acting not only too fast but also with incomplete information.

Based on very early assessments, echoing the theories put forth by netizens, Samsung believed that the issues were limited to models using its own Samsung SDI batteries. While some execs cautioned that the company should investigate the matter further, pressure practically forced the company to declare a premature verdict and declare that it will be putting out replacements as soon as possible. Again based on some sleuthing, those replacements were believed to be powered by batteries made by Amperex Technologies, Ltd. or ATL.

In truth, however, Samsung hasn’t yet figured out beyond doubt what is causing the batteries to explode, and that question remains unanswered even to this day. Many theories have been put forth, from Samsung’s official explanation of a rare manufacturing defect to cramming too large a battery in so small a space.

Haste supposedly made Samsung rush the Galaxy Note 7 out the door in the first place, and then haste made it rush out replacement units even before it had a chance to completely verify its findings. It is, then, perhaps the ultimate irony that Samsung is now reported to be delaying the Galaxy S8 by at least two weeks to be sure it has really gotten its battery problems fixed. And two weeks might even be too short, as Samsung will be under extreme scrutiny, not just from consumers, but from regulators and lawmakers as well.

Photo courtesy of Associated Press.


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