Samsung continues to struggle with what has turned out to be one nightmare of a smartphone release. As you likely know by now, there’s a problem with the batteries in some Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones which can cause them to explode or catch fire, usually while being charged. Samsung was quick to issue a recall, but the problems persist, and the crisis is escalating.
Samsung has now gone so far as to appoint Lee Jae-Yong, the son of Samsung’s ailing Chairman, to its board as concerns over the debacle escalate. Samsung has lost some $22 billion in market value in just two days, says the Chicago Tribune, and with analysts estimating a $1 billion loss on the Note 7, the company needs to avoid losing more.
Here’s what happened
For those not up to speed, the problem was initially thought to be related to the S-Pen storage slot – speculation which has actually caused some complacency over this recall. There may be an issue with the S-Pen slot, but that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the exploding battery problem, and some are finding this out the hard way.
Images of warped, incinerated phones are emerging at an increasing rate, and more than 35 people have been injured, including one 6-year-old Brooklyn boy who had a Note 7 explode in his hands while he watched a video on his grandmother’s couch this weekend. The boy was treated for burns at the hospital and is now safe at home, but it’s a stark reminder that Note 7 owners need to get their phones exchanged for a model known to be safe.
Replace your Note 7 ASAP
To help with that effort, Samsung is labeling refurbished models outfitted with new batteries using a small sticker affixed to the box. The company is also setting up an IMEI database tool that will allow owners to quickly figure out whether or not their device is safe. So, if you’re a Galaxy Note 7 owner, take your phone back to where you bought it and make sure you either get a replacement, or that your phone is verified to be using a safe battery.
For Samsung’s part, the appointment of the new board member may serve to boost investor confidence. Jay Y, as he’s better known, is poised to take over for his father, but South Korean traditions dictate that he can’t do so while he is still alive. To be sure, the would-be Chairman just got handed a big challenge.