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Chronicling the life of the Samsung Galaxy Note7

By Cookie Monster & Vijay Anand - 23 Jan 2017

A look at the journey of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 (Part IV)


Note7 debacle Impact on Samsung and in air travel


  • 13 October: Estimated financial impact on Samsung 

Bloomberg estimates that the Galaxy Note7 crisis could cost Samsung at least US$2.34 billion from the sales loss, costs of inventories in the channel and component orders. 

  • 13 October: Samsung still clueless on what caused the Galaxy Note7 fires 

The New York Times claimed that Samsung employees were unable to reproduce the explosions for the first batch of Galaxy Note7 devices

  • 13 October: Speculation on cause of fires began

The Financial Times said that Samsung engineers tweaked the processor to speed up the charging process, which the battery could not handle and exploded. 

  • 14 October: Samsung will share findings of investigations in the coming weeks 

Samsung issued a statement that it was conducting a thorough investigation and more information would be shared in the coming weeks

  • 14 October: Samsung shares more information on refund and exchange program in Singapore

Samsung Mobile Singapore said that Galaxy Note7 customers can get a full refund (S$1,168) or exchange for the Galaxy S7 edge with S$250 cash. 

  • 15 October: Galaxy Note7 banned on all U.S flights 

The FAA classified the Galaxy Note7 as a hazardous material, therefore it was not allowed on all U.S flights. 

Collection counters setup at the airports.

  • 17 October: Bringing the Galaxy Note7 onboard a U.S flight is a federal crime

Anyone caught bringing the device onboard could face fines, imprisonment of up to 10 years or both

  • 18 October: Samsung shares full details of refund and exchange program in Singapore

Samsung Mobile Singapore set up a website for customers to select refund or exchange with home delivery or self collection option.

  • 18 October: Samsung to lose more phone sales to Apple and Huawei

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that consumers will switch to iOS or the next best Android alternative, Huawei

  • 18 October: South Korean government steps in to assist 

The South Korean government reportedly stepped in to assist Samsung in its investigations of the Galaxy Note7 after the latter still had no idea of what went wrong.

  • 19 October: Samsung accused of bribery to cover up case of exploding Galaxy Note7

A Chinese consumer told the New York Times that Samsung employees approached him with a replacement device and US$900 in compensation to keep the video of his exploding Note7 private

  • 21 October: Samsung considering new compensation initiative in Korea 

The Korea Herald claimed that Samsung was considering to give Galaxy Note7 users cash discounts for their purchase of the Galaxy S8 or Note8. 

  • 25 October: Samsung rolls out Galaxy Upgrade program in Korea 

Galaxy Note7 users who have exchanged for a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge are eligible for this program where they only need to pay half the price of the S7/S7 edge to upgrade to the Galaxy S8 or Note8

  • 27 October: Samsung reports massive hit to Q3 profits  

Samsung reported a drop of US$1.93 billion in operating profit for Q3 due to the Galaxy Note7 crisis. 


Putting an end to the Note7

  • 22 November: Samsung brand in the U.S unaffected by the Galaxy Note7 crisis 

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll reveals that U.S consumers are still willing to purchase Samsung phones despite the Galaxy Note7 fires. 

  • 6 December: Aggressive design to be blamed?

Hardware engineers from Instrumental claimed that the design of the Note7 compresses the battery during normal operation, which caused the battery to heat up and explode. 

  • 9 December: Note7 user receives alert that the phone may not work after a software update 

A Note7 user in the U.S sent a screenshot of the message stating that Samsung will modify the software to prevent the device from functioning

  • 20 December: Samsung Singapore will disable the unreturned Galaxy Note7 devices

For the safety of the consumers, Samsung Singapore states that it will implement a software update on 28 December to disable any unreturned Galaxy Note7. 

  • 23 December: "Galaxy Note7" Wi-Fi hotspot caused a U.S flight delay

Air crew on a U.S flight thought that someone sneaked the Galaxy Note7 onboard after a Wi-Fi hotspot named after the device was detected. It caused unnecessary panic and led to the plane landing later and cancelling a connecting flight. 

Image source: @lucaswoj


Post Mortem 

  • 3 January 2017: Samsung ends the Galaxy Note7 investigation 

Samsung concludes its investigation and expects to share the findings in mid-January. 

  • 7 January 2017: Samsung reports biggest profit in three years despite the Note7 recall 

Despite the Galaxy Note7 recall, Samsung reported its best operating profit in three years thanks to strong sales of display panels and chipsets. 

  • 17 January 2017: Battery cited as the main cause of fires

Reuters claims that the battery is the main cause of the fires and expects Samsung to reveal the official findings on 23 January.

  • 20 January 2017: Samsung confirms press conference on 23 January

Samsung officially confirmed that it will be announcing the findings of the investigation on 23 January. 

  • 20 January 2017: The Wall Street Journal spills the beans on the findings of the investigation

The Wall Street Journal reports that "irregularly-sized" batteries and unknown "manufacturing issues" are the two main causes of the fires.

  • 23 January 2017: Aggressive battery design caused Note7's demise; this is how Samsung will prevent it from happening again

Samsung has finally concluded official investigations with third-party industry expert organizations. Here is their official explanation for its failure and how the company is taking all measures possible to prevent such an incident from ever happening again.

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