Samsung has finally revealed the cause of the Great Galaxy Note 7 Fires of 2016: as suspected, it was the batteries.
The smartphones were in the headlines previous year when their fires injured people, destroyed a vehicle and caused the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight.
Analysts say the drive to produce a thin phone with longer battery life may have contributed to Samsung's woes.
Though Samsung faulted the batteries from its suppliers, it said it would bear all costs from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
USA companies UL and Exponent also examined the batteries supplied by South Korea-based Samsung SDI and China-based Amperex Technology Ltd., or ATL. This second malfunction, which was unrelated to the problem in the original batch of phones, was caused by a supplier defect, according to Samsung's report. "Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust". Then again, with the Galaxy S8 potentially launching later than usual, maybe the Note 8 will be pushed a bit as well.
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Since the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a flagship device, it is only logical that it will be run with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The company did not mention its suppliers by name in the press release, but they were previously identified as Samsung SDI Co Ltd and China's Amperex Technology Ltd, reported Reuters. As some customers had not returned the phones to the company, despite an offer of an exchange with other Samsung devices or a refund, it had to take recourse to working with cellular operators in some markets like the US and Australia, to disconnect the phones from the network. Considering that Samsung already opted not to make that jump when developing the Note 7, we'd be surprised to see the company do it now.
But Koh also confirmed that the new Galaxy S8 will not be unveiled at MWC this year.
Going forward, the company will institute new battery safety measures, including what it described as an "8-point battery safety check". However, its much better-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter profits appeared to show that, financially at least, the company had shaken off the recall.
The South Korean tech giant disclosed in a report that the batteries did not properly fit in the phones and that design caused the initial round of fires, which were sometimes explosive and in certain cases led to property damage and personal injury for its owners.
Samsung said Monday that 96% of about 3 million Note 7 devices have been returned.
Another feature that looks set to return from the Note 7 is the use of a USB Type-C charging port, rather than MicroUSB.
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