Backfire: Beleaguered Samsung’s exploding phones triggered by rush to beat Apple’s iPhone 7

“Earlier this year, managers at the South Korean company began hearing the next iPhone wouldn’t have any eye-popping innovations. The device would look just like the previous two models too. It sounded like a potential opening for Samsung,” Yoolim Lee and Min Jeong Lee report for Bloomberg. “So the top brass at Samsung Electronics Co., including phone chief D.J. Koh, decided to accelerate the launch of a new phone… They pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new features, another person with direct knowledge said. The Note 7 would have a high-resolution screen that wraps around the edges, iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging battery. Apple’s taunts that Samsung was a copycat would be silenced for good.”

“Then it all backfired,” Lee and Lee report. “Just days after Samsung introduced the Note 7 in August, reports surfaced online that the phone’s batteries were bursting into flame. By the end of the month, there were dozens of fires and Samsung was rushing to understand what went wrong. On Sept. 2, Koh held a grim press conference in Seoul where he announced Samsung would replace all 2.5 million phones shipped so far. What was supposed to be triumph had turned into a fiasco.”

“‘This is creating an enormous problem for the company — for its reputation and ability to support its customers when there’s a problem,’ said David Yoffie, a management professor at Harvard Business School and board member at Intel Corp,” Lee and Lee report. “The misstep has set off soul-searching at the Samsung conglomerate and in South Korea, where the company employs hundreds of thousands and is revered for leading the nation’s rise since the Korean War. Samsung’s flagship electronics unit built its reputation on high-quality products and cutting-edge technology, becoming the largest phone maker in the world and a powerful rival to Apple in innovation. One employee, in an online discussion group, called the episode ‘humiliating.'”

“‘Clearly, they missed something,’ said Anthea Lai, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. ‘They were rushing to beat Apple and they made a mistake,'” Lee and Lee report. “Twenty years ago, in a chapter of Samsung Group history that employees can recite by heart, Chairman Lee grew so frustrated by faulty mobile phones that he piled up thousands of the devices and lit the whole heap ablaze… Today, Samsung phones are ablaze once again… ‘The potential damage to reputation is far greater than short-term financial losses,’ said Chang Sea Jin, a professor at National University of Singapore.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you stumbled here from Google: You wasted your money on an iPhone wannabe from a slipshod South Korean dishwasher maker? We’d ask, “What are you stupid?” but there’s no need since the data already tells us you are.

If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

And, yes, Karma is one indescribably beautiful bitch!

Jeep charging a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) and a Jeep charing an Apple iPhone (right)
Jeep charging a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) and a Jeep charging an Apple iPhone (right)


Garage charging a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) and a garage charging an Apple iPhone (right)
Garage charging a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (left) and a garage charging an Apple iPhone (right)

Florida man sues beleaguered Samsung after phone explodes in pocket – September 17, 2016
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issues formal recall of beleaguered Samsung’s exploding phones – September 15, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung phones unwelcome on NYC’s buses and trains – September 15, 2016
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners are ignoring the explosions, fires and safety warnings – September 15, 2016
Samsung Galaxy S7 phone explodes in teacher’s hands in the middle of busy cafe – September 14, 2016
Samsung phone blows up in car passenger seat, causes huge highway explosion – September 14, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung to issue desperate kludge in attempt to contain the exploding phone crisis – September 13, 2016
Man sues beleaguered Samsung after exploding Galaxy S7 Edge causes massive 3rd degree burns – September 13, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung phone explodes in little boy’s hands, 6-year-old suffers burns – September 12, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung sheds $26 billion in value after massive recall of explosive, dangerous, flawed Galaxy Note 7 – September 12, 2016
FAA warns airline passengers not to use Samsung phones – September 9, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 destroys garage; home condemned due to fire – September 9, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 destroys Florida man’s Jeep – September 8, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 burns down garage; destroys Jeep in another case; airlines now banning potentially deadly device – September 8, 2016
Apple orders more parts for iPhone 7 amid Samsung recalls – September 6, 2016
Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 damages Perth hotel room – September 6, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung blows it in rush to beat Apple iPhone 7 to market – September 6, 2016
Apple stock up, may benefit from beleaguered Samsung’s exploding Galaxy devices – September 2, 2016
Beleaguered Samsung to recall 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units over exploding batteries – September 2, 2016
Samsung may be forced to recall Galaxy Note 7 over exploding batteries – September 1, 2016
Samsung halts Galaxy Note 7 shipments due to battery explosions – August 31, 2016
Poor man’s iPhone: Android on the decline – February 26, 2015
Study: iPhone users are smarter and richer than those who settle for Android phones – January 22, 2015
Why Android users can’t have the nicest things – January 5, 2015
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009


  1. Should be an interesting contrast to how Apple is going to deal with the hissing sound from some of their newly released iPhones.

    I wonder how long it will take MDN to put up an article about it.

    1. Jesus Christ…. you’re seriously comparing a few devices with imperceptible ‘hissing’ which is probably an audio driver issue to one that literally explodes, has burned down houses, cars, and people? Also the hissing thing hasn’t been proven yet.

      1. It’s only because “Road Warrior” is an insufferable asshole.

        Hey, tell us again how the U.S is “evil” because they “tortured” some mass-murdering towelheads in order to stop future mass murders of innocent citizens, you wrong-headed pustule.

        1. This site is home turf to a LOT of insufferable a’holes, and boy do they spend a LOT of time bitchin at each other.
          ‘Road Warrior’ ‘Voice of reason’ ‘peterbugle61’ derek curry’… the list of dickheads here is practically endless.

          And why not? This site is run by dickheads:
          “And, yes, Karma is one indescribably beautiful bitch!”
          Only dickheads will agree with such an idiotic sentiment, but since this is “SamSplode” we’re talking about it does not matter that there are people being injured or that there is a very good chance someone will be killed, the knife has to go in anyway.

          (Don’t agree? Let me know if you ever see Ars or Gruber saying anything as moronic as “iPhone wannabe from a slipshod South Korean dishwasher maker”.)
          Fscking clowns.

        2. Torture is wrong. This isn’t Jack Bauer in a TV show. The United States lost credibility as the champion of global human rights, as a result. Your use of the perjorative term “towelheads” pretty much sums up your bias, so nothing more need be said.

    2. “The hissing is likely some kind of coil noise, which you’ve probably heard hundreds of times before—but usually from a desktop or laptop or another piece of consumer electronics gadgetry, rather than a smartphone. Coil noise (coil whine) is produced when electrical components hit a specific resonant frequency that causes the circuit to physically vibrate. Usually, the heavier the current the stronger the resonance, which in turn causes a louder acoustic noise. Just about every electric circuit is susceptible to coil noise, and thus it must be damped in some way.”

      It’s there because the new iPhone’s A10 Fusion is now faster than many laptops. It’s of little or no concern – especially compared to much slower phones from a “South Korean dishwasher maker” that explode and burn you or your house, car, garage, children, etc.

  2. According to the article, the battery is too big for the compartment, and the battery got pinched. So, it sounds like a design flaw.

    1. Was the device tested before mass production?
    2. If it was tested and the flaw was caught did Samsung move ahead with production anyway?
    3. Are they going to put in a much smaller battery on replacement devices, or will they try to shove the same size battery into the space?
    4. Are they going to redesign the phone because a battery can’t fit into the phone do to the edge slope of the screen?
    5. If they don’t redesign the phone and don’t put in a smaller battery will the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 still be recalled?
    6. Will replacement devices still be banned for use on planes, trains and buses?
    7. Can Samsung be trusted any longer?

    1. Most of those questions are pointless. Obviously Samsung did not catch this mistake, but it is a question of a fraction of a millimeter, and Samsung will either make that case a fraction lthichker or the battery a fraction thinner. I would assume that they will change the battery, but I would be surprised if it costs more than 50-100 mwh in battery capacity, if any.

      The much more interesting question is #6, what happens with devices being banned from planes and other areas. If Samsung just changes the battery but the devices look exactly the same, how do you prove that any device is safe to use? The airlines may just keep a blanket ban on the Note 7 forever.

      The answer to #7 is that they never could be trusted to start with.

    2. “4. Are they going to redesign the phone because a battery can’t fit into the phone do to the edge slope of the screen?”
      In the redesign to free up space they will, I guess, drop the headphone jack!

    3. If I owned a Samsung phone at this point, I would just count myself lucky it hadn’t melted down/blown up or whatever and just move to a truly top quality iPhone.

      What do you get with Samsung that would make you take the risk?

      Come on now.

  3. The Note 5 was released August 21 last year. The Note 7 released August 19. It wasn’t rushed – Samsung just lost control of the quality control.

    I bitch about the iPhone being too conservative, but have to admit they’re among the most reliable products ever made. I’ve never had a single thing go wrong since 2007.

      1. I think SamSucks just took the chance for an early release advantage that wouldn’t have materialized successfully anyway since the iPhone 7 is a solid upgrade after all, and didn’t want to hear any bad news that would have delayed their release past iPhone’s 7 release.

        They must be daily laughing their heads off silly in the halls of Cupertino at SamSplode’s Fiery Folly. One of those laugh jags they are helpless to stop and when they look at each other the laughter only starts all over again ’til their sides start aching. I guess in the case “revenge is a dish best served shot down in flames.”

  4. the yet undisclosed issue is fundamental design flaws evolution in samsung smartphones. they rely too heavily on supplier engineering and not integrated optimization on hardware components and systems software. this has finally caught up because smaller battery would not perform and become a marketing black eye. their problem runs much deeper than QC.

    1. Age old problem: Sales drives production regardless of what the engineers say.

      I’ve seen this so many times …

      It always results in horribly expensive recalls with black eyes.

  5. IF Samsung thought the new iPhone 7 wasn’t going to have any eye-popping innovations, then why rush? They could have spent an extra month or two to get it right without fear of losing sales. Seems like they thought Apple wasn’t going to sell that many 7’s. One thing they did rush was the numbering or they forgot that 6 comes after 7.

  6. Samsung’s washing machine repair system is way below par. It includes a plastic bag and tape. Obviously there are problems. See the two references below:


    Look, for the record I’m not a smart phone owner (I need a break from being online) but if I was I’d ONLY own an iPhone which would happily live with all the other Apple hardware in our household. Why? Because they work.

    The only time I really had a problem Apple (after a fair bit of wrangling), sent a Unysis rep out to my house and completely replaced a faulty logic board. End of story and end of problem. Was the technical issue part of a batch, no, it was just bad luck. And for the record I’ve been using Apple products since 1992. On this site I guess I’m a bit of newbie.

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