back to article Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets recalled immediately

Samsung Electronics has recalled its exploding new phablet model after an increasing number of miniature blasts – and their internal investigation discovered a "battery cell issue". Samsung had halted shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 earlier this week after a number of reports regarding the phablets catching fire. In a …

  1. Paul Hargreaves

    > They are advised to call Samsung's customer service team on 0330 7261000.

    Advised by whom? Advised where?

    There are at least a 1000 units in the UK already since the pre-orders from Samsung shipped on Monday. Plus units shipped via CPW and the carriers.

    1. Down not across

      > They are advised to call Samsung's customer service team on 0330 7261000.

      Advised by whom? Advised where?

      By whoever sold the device most likely. I know CPW have SMS'd their customers to contact Samsung at the above number.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Since checking for updates either for the firmware or the Samsungs apps defaults to auto, would it not make more sense for Samsung to to an over the air update to all customers which displays a warning message? Sounds like an obvious and comprehensive way to get to as many customers as possible in the shortest possible timeframe.

  2. TeacherMARK

    Watch out, watch out, Samsung... there's a Huawei behind you!

  3. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "Mr President, while on the hot line you may hear a high pitched squeal. That will be the phone melting at the other end."

    "Sweet Jesus Christ! Our bomber got through their defenses? They are about to be nuked?"

    "No, sir. Our bomber finally got the recall order thirty five minutes ago and turned for home."

    "Then ... you mean ..."

    "Yes! The Russian Premier is using a state of the art smart phone with a dodgy Russian-made Lithium battery."

    "Then there's only one hope for World Peace. Bring me ... my Galaxy Note 7."

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      Re: Bah!

      Hah! Thumbs up for the Fail Safe reference.

  4. Howard Hanek
    Unhappy

    Question

    Did any of these exploding Samsung batteries detonate when in proximity to an iPhone?

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hmmm.....

    Is it advisable to hold supernova-ed phones with bare hands?

    Whatever happened to safety gloves?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I'm off bargain hunting

    If I find any S7 for sale listings on a certain bargain hunting site, I am going to add "Heat".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm off bargain hunting

      If that's a joke you forgot the funny bit

      1. Dieter Haussmann

        Re: I'm off bargain hunting

        He means hotukdeals - not ebay - oof! oof!

    2. iRadiate

      Re: I'm off bargain hunting

      Why? Issue doesn't affect S7s. It affects Note 7s.

  7. kain preacher

    I was looking at a mother board with USB C, but I think I'll pass on the thermal nuclear port.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this isn't a dodgy USB cable issue after all

    That explanation never really made sense to me in the first place. From what I understand, Samsung didn't ship a USB-C cable with the phone - knowing that almost no one has anything with a USB-C connector into which the plug the other end. Instead they shipped it with a USB-C to mini converter.

    So then the story was "everyone who had this happen was using a USB mini cable with a mini to USB-C converter". Well duh, if that's all Samsung provided, of course that's what almost everyone would be using, including both those with exploding and non-exploding phones.

    Samsung obviously scheduled this launch with the iPhone's standard September launch in mind, hoping to garner a lot of positive press in the meantime and assuming the iPhone 7 is basically a 6SS with the real update coming next year hope to get some people who were hoping for a bigger change. Instead they're taking a big black eye that makes antennagate look very minor by comparison.

    If this happened to Apple it would be far worse, simply because of the number of phones they ship - over 10 million launch weekend alone. If the problem was discovered two weeks later like this they'd probably be well over 20 million. There would be 10x as many exploding phones, with greater likelihood someone might actually die from it (imagine the size of that lawsuit) and the recall would cost them 10x more as well.

    1. Down not across

      Re: So this isn't a dodgy USB cable issue after all

      That explanation never really made sense to me in the first place. From what I understand, Samsung didn't ship a USB-C cable with the phone - knowing that almost no one has anything with a USB-C connector into which the plug the other end. Instead they shipped it with a USB-C to mini converter.

      Samsung did ship the phones with Type-A to Type-C cable as the charger it ships with has Type-A connector.

      They also included Type-A to Micro-USB adapter as well as Micro-USB to Type-C adapter.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: So this isn't a dodgy USB cable issue after all

      I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. We know you're an Apple shareholder and fan but so what?

      There is no doubt that this is an expensive mess up for Samsung but at this point it would seem to me that the most important question is: are they handling it well? I think they are. Whenever you make a mistake in business the most important thing to do is to admit it and show you're doing something about this. All Lithium batteries are a fire risk, which is why they come with hazard warnings printed on them. This maybe the most profile incident the mobile phone industry but the same problem has affected other companies (Sony, I think) in the past as well as notebook manufacturers and plane makers (Boeing's 787).

      Samsung have apparently sold over 2 million devices and there are reports off less than 100 incidents but they are still doing a full recall. To me this is kaizen in practice and shows that they care and is a very different response to a failure than Steve Jobs "you're holding it wrong" when Apple engineers fucked up on the antenna build. So, while people's faith in Samsung make be a little shaken, they're taking the best action to restore it, though this will take time. As for the timing with respect to the next I-Phone, I don't think it matters that much and if customers are happy with the way replacements are handled, could yet be good PR. Apple will be hoping that they don't have anything similar in their kit.

      Most importantly: what does this tell us about fixed batteries? If the problem is with the batteries then the recall action would be a whole lot quicker, cheaper and easier to run. I wonder if Samsung will learn from this and revert to offering phones with removable batteries. I even wonder if this shouldn't be regulated for devices for all rechargeable batteries bigger than say 500 mAh.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Not the first time...

    ... how many Samsung phones have had bendy battery problems that needed a replacement after six months or a year?

  10. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Guardian of the Galaxy

    Hands up, who left their Galaxy Note7 on the Space X Falcon? Or who designed it as the communications device just because it had the word Galaxy in it?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe this torched...

    ...Apple's Irish tax returns, and that is why the EU (Bureaucrats in Brussels) is harping on Ireland to get the pound of flesh from the i-company.

    Seems similar to the excuse "The dog ate my homework".

    Then again my shares of Apple stock will probably go up on the news...

    1. AndyS

      Re: Maybe this torched...

      Yeah, this new Apple Samsung is a rubbish phone, isn't it!

  12. malle-herbert
    Joke

    Well...

    It's not like this is the first galaxy that started with a big bang...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One good thing...

    At least Samsung don't claim that they're only catching fire because people hold them wrongly.

  14. chris 17 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    New Samsung phone catches fire, next to no comments, new Apple phone bends when sat on and hundreds who would never buy one stick the boot in.

    turds

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's life - get used to it

      Samsung is seen by many to be the plucky underdog, sued by the nasty rotten fruit.

      This means that Samsung is good, Apple is Bad, rotten to the core etc etc

      The truth is closer to a pint of cloudy scrumpy than a clear filtered Strongbow.

      I had a Samsung Mobile once. Never got an update and Touchwiz was useless. Went back to my nokia

      I had some Samsung HDD's. All went bad within the 1st year.

      So for me, I won't ever have anything with a Samsung label on the outside ever again.

      I have a 4th Gen iPod bought from a Pawn shop. It works but I'm not inclined to buy anything new from Apple.

      No company is perfect. some are clearly worse than others.Up to you to decide and vote with your money.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: That's life - get used to it

        "I had a Samsung Mobile once. Never got an update"

        FYI - my Galaxy S5 Mini received an update this very weekend, all 350MiB of it. This is the fourth update since I got the phone.

        By contrast, my other phones are Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Sony and they are ALL running Android 2.x (the latter two shipping with that after 4.x was released) and they never once got any update of any kind.

        Perhaps before blaming Samsung it might be worth noting what an awful mess the update process is/was that implied actions from the carriers and exactly how many of them could be bothered?

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge

          Re: That's life - get used to it

          >Perhaps before blaming Samsung it might be worth noting what an awful mess the update process is/was that implied actions from the carriers and exactly how many of them could be bothered?

          Motorola phone running Android 2.x and never got an update, which model ?

          I had a Sony Xperia, one of the first models - cannot remember exact model - shipped with outdated Android from day 1 (Android version over 12 months old), never got an update. The Xperia M I have has had updates, but still on 4.3, iirc. With 2Gb internal storage, not sure what I could put on it, though.

          None of these phones were from a carrier ... because, carriers suck just as much as HP, Lenovo, Dell & co ... crapware pre-installed. And, you have to wait for updates to be released from google, to be adapted by phone maker, to be adapted by carrier ... if you are into Android, get a Nexus or Blackberry. I still do not understand why Moto failed when under Google's helm ... but then again, I did not quite follow their models back then ...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This:

    Koh Dong-jin, the president of Samsung’s mobile arm, told the press today that there was "a tiny problem in the manufacturing process" which caused the issue.

    Koh Dong-jin, the president of Samsung’s mobile arm, told the press today that there would have been "a tiny loss of profit by using higher quality cells" which caused the issue.

    TFTFY

    .

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: This:

      My sympathies are with Samsung on this one. it is possible that the supplier was screwed down to the last cent and took short cuts. It is more likely that the failures have highlighted a manufacturing process or quality control issue that once identified will be fixed.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: This:

        If it is true the batteries were manufactured by a third party and Samsung's supplier was screwed down to the last cent, who did the screwing? Er, Samsung.

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: This:

          If it is true the batteries were manufactured by a third party and Samsung's supplier was screwed down to the last cent, who did the screwing? Er, Samsung.

          Try as I might I cannot fathom why this suggestion received a downvote, although to be fair it is possible that a third party battery manufacturer decided to cut a few corners in an attempt to squeeze a little more profit.

          Thinking about it didn't some phone manufacturer try to patent cut corners?

  16. Benno

    Owning up

    At least Sammy has the balls to issue a recall when it has obviously gone pear-shaped. Plenty of other manufacturers have ignored the tide of evidence against them in recent history. Add bad as this is, the attitude is a welcome change...

    1. PC1512

      Re: Owning up

      This isn't ballsy or even a change from the norm, it's the bare minimum any corporation would be expected to do if they came to know about a health and safety risk like this. They investigated and obviously quite quickly identified that the problem was real and likely to result in many more fires if not put right, at which point the recall becomes very cheap next to the cost of the many inevitable lawsuits that would otherwise come there way,

      They had no choice in other words, legally or financially.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Owning up

        It's only because they explode. They have sold phones with bulging batteries and offered a replacement if they bulge, but the replacements, the batteries sold separately, and the batteries that came with new phones, all continued to suffer the same problem and you had to go back yet again.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Owning up

        "This isn't ballsy or even a change from the norm, it's the bare minimum any corporation would be expected to do if they came to know about a health and safety risk like this."

        Depends on the situation. Most will make every effort to try to limit the damage to a batch and then issue a recall for that batch only. There could be any of a number of reasons why Samsung have not done this is this. Anything from being "good" and issuing the recall across the board for PR and safety reasons to not being able to identify if it is a batch fault in a short enough time frame to having already discovered that the affected devices are from a wide range of batches. We may or may not ever know the reason for such a wide ranging recall.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Owning up

          Yeah the main reason they have to take this seriously is because it would only be a matter of time before someone is severely injured or dies. If Samsung was sued, and an email trail could be produced that showed they knew about the problem but decided to ignore it based on a cost/benefit analysis, the punitive damages could be massive. Given how many explosions happened with the phone only being out a week or two, there wasn't going to be any ignoring this anyway.

          Look at Takata for an example of what happens to companies that try to sweep life/safety issues under the rug. They will not survive as a company. Car companies can sweep stuff under the rug when they have problems that are outside that realm, like misapplied rustproofing in the wheel wells or a Nav system that cuts out randomly but it is inadvisable for things that can injure or kill people.

  17. Sparks_
    Flame

    Watch for shipping containers full of these catching fire, stuck in ports and on Hanjin vessels during the Hanjin bankruptcy

    1. Sparks_

      On second thought, perhaps a contrived frantic search for those exploding batteries is the laxative for a blocked port?

      Sammy needs to get the containers of TVs, frudges, erc to Xmas market too.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
  18. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Perfect timing...

    For Apple's "one more thing" on Wednesday. It wouldn't surprise me if Apple and Samsung were both secretly owned by Larry Ellison purely for the pleasure of watching them constantly fight like alley cats.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this is an example

    Of an existing product becoming vaporware.

    http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff200/fv00172.htm

    AC, because of hungry hungry lawyers.

  20. Slx

    This is why I charge my phone overnight in a heavy glass bowl positioned away from my bedding or anything papery and have a smoke detector in the bedroom and the study...

    I don't fully trust lithium ion batteries on charge.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did it say 'Allah Akbar' before hand?

  22. Agent Tick

    This much about...

    ... batteries not replaceable by the consumer - perhaps bring it back?

  23. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Flame

    Maybe Moss went work for Samsung after leaving Reynholm Industries.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self destruct feature, no additional charge. The ultimate in enterprise security.

  25. Huckleberry Muckelroy

    Cosmic Revenge

    It's Samsung's just desserts for making a phone with a non-removable battery.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peter Graves signature phone?

    This message, and the complete phone, will self destruct in 5 seconds.....

    Da Da, dan dan Da Da...

  27. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    Gives new meaning to internal combustion engine

  28. VulcanV5
    Meh

    Kudos to Samsung. Your turn to 'fess up now, Google?

    My wife needed a replacement for her much-loved much-used Asus Transformer 101 which, at 5½ years old, was fading fast.

    Windows 10 showed just how deep is the contempt in which Microsoft holds all its customers so we've happily reciprocated by resolving never to buy anything from Redmond again. Asus has gotten into bed with Microsoft and in any event nowadays appears to be competing for a worldwide record in lousy-at-best, non-existent-most-often, customer service. So. Nix Asus. Sampling Samsung's and Sony's tablets left us mildly interested but nothing more. Finally, then, we decided on Google's "own" product, the Pixel C.

    If you read the rave reviews of a tech media so far up Mountain View's hindquarters that it can barely see to write, you'll realise that the Pixel C is not merely the best thing since sliced bread, but the best thing since the creation of dough. If, however, you appreciate that you are a consumer and not a freebie-laden meeja hack, then you'll check Google's own forums to discover just how good the Pixel C is . . . and when you've done that, browse the ether for further news of its distinctive wifi capability. Or rather, distinctive incapability. And then harken to Google's . . . silence.

    Kudos, then, to Samsung for reacting to a PR disaster in the best way possible . . . and none at all to Google for doing nothing in hope that its own bad news will just go away when it's actually potential customers who go away. Goodbye Google, hello Apple. The wife's iPad Pro is just the Jobs, thank you.

  29. createahandletheysay

    UK Phone not just on pre-order

    They've also been delivered.

    Mine arrived last week from Three along with the Gear VR headset.

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