Exploding Samsungs Make Unwanted Hot Pockets
On Sept. 1, Samsung first announced the recall of their Galaxy Note 7 cellphones. Along with an iris scanner, water resistance and wireless charging capabilities, the new phone also contained a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery which occasionally exploded into a pocket-sized inferno of acid and flame. After the issue was thought to be identified, the suspected internal components of the Galaxy Note 7 were switched out and stores and consumers received replacements, which have continued to self-destruct. Lightweight, long-lasting and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are great options for portable electronics, but can react dangerously if punctured or overheated. Even the Federal Aviation Administration, “strongly advis(ed) passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.” As of Oct. 11, Samsung has completely abandoned the Galaxy Note 7, pulling it from shelves and production lines.
Though Samsung handled the situation in a logical fashion, it’s going to be difficult for the company to rebuild brand trust with consumers. After Apple chose to abandon the headphone jack with its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, this could have been a chance for Samsung to emphasize its practicality over its competitor’s trendiness. Exploding phones, however, aren’t very practical.
Although this a fantastic example of faulty engineering, consumers must wonder if there was any moral negligence tied into this cellular situation. Though this has been a significant inconvenience for both Samsung and its users, some may be inclined to imagine this foible as similar to the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2015. After all, according to the New York Times, “the phone has been blamed for at least one house fire, a burning Jeep and several alarming moments on planes when the devices started smoking mid-flight.” Shouldn’t these issues be rooted out during testing stages? Was quality control sacrificed for a quick release? Not likely, since no information has been released stating these issues arose during testing and were ignored. Additionally, Samsung’s process of both offering compensation for potentially dangerous products, then completely recalling them shows concern in user satisfaction and safety. However, with the looming release of its aux-less competitor’s latest luxury gadget, the company may have tried to cram in too many features and made an unintentional pocket warmer/marshmallow roaster/road flare.
Users of Galaxy Note 7s that have recently exploded or that want to get rid of them before it happens are asked to call 1-844-365-6197 or visit http://www.samsung.com/us/note7recall. Users of any exploding cellphones, Samsung or otherwise, are also asked to contact The Student Movement, because frankly, that sounds like a very interesting story.