Samsung Discontinues Galaxy Note 7 Manufacturing and Sales

| Editorial

This just in: Samsung has officially discontinued manufacturing and sales of the Galaxy Note 7. With repeated incidents of the devices—and replacement devices—catching fire, the company announced on Tuesday it would cease making and selling them.

Burned Galaxy Note 7 on Tombstone

RIP Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Tuesday’s action was a follow-up to Monday’s decision to suspend production. It was revealed via a South Korean regulatory filing, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Customer Safety Is Job #1 a Job

In a statement, Samsung said, “Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.”

The idea that customer safety is even a high—let alone the highest priority—is at odds with a text message sent to a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 victim. A Samsung representative sent the victim—presumably accidentally:

Just now got this. I can try and slow him down if we think it will matter, or we just let him do what he keeps threatening to do and see if he does it.

That suggests containing damage to Samsung’s brand is the highest priority. The not-so-funny thing is that the one thing that might have contained that damage—recalling and discontinuing the Note 7—has taken far too long.

Now, the Galaxy Note brand is all but untouchable. And that brand damage may even extend to the broader Galaxy line itself, though there’s not yet any data to support this.

Investors

South Korean investors are betting that it will, though. The Wall Street Journal reported that shares of Samsung sold off 8%, its largest decline since 2008. That’s a huge hit considering the Note line has a small share of Samsung’s smartphone sales, and smartphones are a small part of the massive conglomerate’s overall business.

Customers will no longer be able to turn their Note 7 in for a new one, and instead can get a full refund or another device.

Pro Tip: Pick iPhone.

8 Comments Add a comment

  1. It would be easy to take a “there but for the grace goes Apple” sort of an attitude. After all, it is my understanding that Apple buys batteries from some of the same companies that made the batteries for the GN7. However these companies make components to specification. Apple, LG, Samsung, all tell the vendors to make a battery of so many amp-hours, of such dimensions. Specifications right down to the internal structure are specified by the company. It is also up to the company to listen to the vendor. If they say, “This design may short out. If you add a layer here, and move this electrode there there is less chance of fire,” it is the companies responsibility to pay attention. Once the company and the vendor settle on a design, it is up to the company to test the system to make sure it is reliable. To make sure it meets company standards. To make sure it is safe. This is what Apple does. This is what Samsung did not do with the GN7. They cut corners to rush the product out and got caught. They aren’t the first company to get bit by this, and they won’t be the last.

    So suddenly I’m OK with the delay on releasing the new Macs. That is, if it is because they want to iron out all the details. As long as it is because they want to get it right.

  2. RonMacGuy

    Well said, both Bryan and Geoduck. It has been obvious that Samdung’s strategy has been focused on copying successful competitor’s products and rushing to market in order to maximize profits, and a combination of continuing lawsuits and now this devastating blow to their phone business will hopefully make them rethink their strategy and strive to become a better company. However, in the end, the enormous profits that they were able to bring in from that strategy will unfortunately motivate them to do their best to minimize the financial impact from this failure and continue doing what has done them well so far. I don’t see them changing anytime soon. Sad.

  3. Yep. It isn’t anyone’s fault that their customers have the attention span of a flea, and that losing business is a legitimate concern when dealing with such folks (thanks, Twitter, Snapchat, et. al., and all the parents that preferred to let technology raise their children!).

    It seems to me Apple is more or less doing what they’ve always done, and they’ve managed to make it this far (and stay ahead of the curve!). Pundits, professional or otherwise, tend to err toward moronic.

  4. Kicking someone when they are down seems spiteful. However, this could have been extremely harmful. Starting a fire on commercial flights is not what any company would want to be held accountable for by authorities. There are many scenarios where people use their smartphones that can lead to injuries if they catch fire. The conduct of Samsung before and after releasing this product was reckless.

    Remembering the heat Apple took over “Antennagate”, “Bendgate” makes me wonder just how potentially devastating a blow this will end up being. One can only imagine the legion of attorneys salivating over the class action windfall that is to come. That is nothing compared to the blow the Samsung Brand is taking. Samsung has brought all this on itself.

  5. I just ran across something interesting in a BBC article

    It takes great pride in the fact that it makes its components itself. Unlike Apple, it doesn’t outsource to factories in China and the rest of South-East Asia

    This means that the damage was entirely self inflicted. Rather than going to an outside vendor, you know people who are experts in making batteries that don’t catch fire, people who have been making them for years and know how to do it, they did the battery as a DIY project.

    I’m not sure if that is more arrogant, or stupid.

    article link
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37624629

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