It’s the kind of irony that takes serious script work to bring together in a TV show, but for Samsung it’s real life: The factory that makes the faulty batteries that led to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 caught on fire. Luckily no one was hurt, so it’s totally OK for us to poke fun at Samsung’s latest misfortune.
Word leaked last week that Samsung’s official Galaxy Note 7 fire investigation would point to the device’s battery as the cause of the problem, and that’s exactly what the company said on Monday. Samsung also it’s delaying the launch of the Galaxy S8 smartphone as a result of its Note 7 investigation.
Samsung will officially announce the results of its investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 fires next week, and there won’t be any big surprises because they’re pointing the finger that the smartphone’s battery. The company is also going to say there were manufacturing issues, although it’s not clear yet what those were.
The last few Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners won’t be able to use their fire-phones much longer because carriers are starting to push out an update that bricks the devices. T-Mobile is already remotely updating Note 7 phones, AT&T and Sprint are planning to start in the next few days, and even Verizon has reversed course and is going to push out the update, too.
An iPhone 7 is being blamed for causing a car fire, and it’s already being compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 burning phone disaster. While it’s possible Apple is about to face a wave of burning iPhones, it’s possible this was an isolated incident, or that the iPhone wasn’t the cause of the fire.
What’s the cost of designing and selling an smartphone that catches on fire? If you’re Samsung, it’s US$5.3 billion. The electronics maker is now estimating its losses for dealing with the Galaxy Note 7 debacle will climb well over its earlier projections and could go higher than its latest expectation.