Well, it is now finally over for Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The phone that was launched with a lot promise is now going down without a whimper. The biggest publicly funded news agency in South Korea, Yonhap News Agency, is quoting an unnamed Samsung official as saying that further production of the so-called ‘safe‘ replacement Samsung Note 7 had been halted.
Though this is not the official statement from Samsung, but coming from Yonhap gave the news an imprimatur of officialdom since that news agency don’t peddle false news and are not interested in click baits.
The world is now waiting for Samsung to confirm the news.
This news is not totally unexpected. Since the saga of the replacement Samsung catching fire on a plane hit the headlines, I predicted that one of two things would happen as far as the Note 7 is concerned.
The first was that there would be another recall of the Note 7.
And the second was that Samsung might just cut their losses and announce the Note 7 as a failed project.
In either case, it is going to cost them a ton of money. Even if the phones were insured, most of that money is going to be paid as liabilities to people who might drag Samsung to court for injuries and lost of properties as a result of the exploding phones.
Samsung is also going to lose money over the fact that the expected revenues from the sale of millions of Note 7 over the next one year would never materialize.
I am now anxious to see what Samsung’s earnings would be like next year when the financial results are made public.
Structural problems in Note 7
When news of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching fire became too much to be ignored or treated as one coincidence, Samsung had to move quickly to respond to the crisis.
On of the measures put in place, in addition to the contingency of recalling the phones, was to switch the battery makers. Effectively soiling the reputation of the firm that made the first batteries.
The move followed the narrative that defective batteries were the cause of the phones catching fire.
But with the new replacement phones also catching fire from overheating batteries, that narrative was shut down for good. Obviously, two reputable battery makers can’t be making defective batteries.
The searchlight has now turned on the fact that structurally, there was something fundamentally wrong with the Note 7. Batteries catching fire was just a symptom of deep rooted problems in the design and construction of the Note 7.
Tje logical thing to do in that case was to redesign the whole phone from the ground up; after that spend a long time testing the phone vigorously. A scenario like this would a several months.
So, hello Galaxy Note 8 or whatever name Samsung would chose to call the next version of that series. Because, no matter how you look at it, the best option for Samsung is to rest the Galaxy Note name and rebrand it with something new. That name is now tainted.
The last Straw
Several straws actually. Last week, especially the weekend, was reality-check time for Samsung that they had to finally do something drastic about the phone.
One of the straws when when reports emerged that a man living in Kentucky ended up in hospital ER department for bronchitis treatment after inhaling the smoke from a Note 7 on fire. Apparently he was sleeping in the night when the phone caught fire.
He was lucky to have woken up to extinguish the fire from the phone or we would have heard about the first fatality caused by the phone.
But more damning for Samsung is the fact they tried to ignore the man after the incident was reported to them.
Another incident involved a 13 year old Abby Zuis whose replacement Note 7 burnt one of her fingers as it got hot very quickly while she was holding it.
Thankfully, that was the only injuries she suffered.
Several other reports of replacement Note 7 quickly surfaced putting Samsung in a tight spot. Something had to be done.
The first stage of that ‘something that needs to be done’ is halting production of the Note 7.
Several news outlets, including The World Street Journal, are reporting that Samsung released a statement advising people to stop buying or using the replacement Galaxy Note 7
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