Things get even more heated for Samsung as Note 7 saga ignites again
Once the bad news starts, it just doesn’t stop. After the 30 or so fires and meltdowns apparently started by faulty batteries in the Samsung - just released - Note 7 stymied what might otherwise have been a triumphant year for the Korean giant, it had barely composed itself, instituted a comprehensive Note 7 replacement programme and announced its plans to ‘relaunch’ its pesky flagship Phablet in November, when disaster struck again. More overheating has just been reported - this time to the replacement phones.
Samsung says the new problem has nothing to do with the battery but in reality consists of a few isolated reports of overheating and slow charging. It might have added that any phone, if distributed in enough numbers, would probably experience isolated reports and complaints of overheating, but it hasn’t taken a precarious PR route like that… yet.
A leaf could be taken from the Steve Jobs playbook. Back in 2010 he somehow managed to spread the blame for an antenna problem affecting the iPhone 4 to all phones everywhere by talking of the ‘death grip’. That’s where a phone squeezed at its base will run into problems. The world then started replicating that grip on other phones forgetting that the iPhone reception problem was slightly different… or was it? Enough confusion occurred for Jobs and the iPhone 4 to slip out the back way and escape into the night.
Samsung, meanwhile, has been having a torrid time in the wake of ‘dozens’ of phone meltdowns and a few explosions. It has instituted a staggering global recall of 2.5 million phones and watched helplessly as billions was wiped off its share value. Last week it sold its stake in four technology companies to raise some extra spare cash in case the disaster turned into whatever is worse than a disaster.
Apparently it intends to properly relaunch the Note 7 in November, once it has cleared the backlog and the fuss (and the fires) died down.
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