Samsung’s reputation was among the most damaged of any company last year

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The annual Harris Poll, which measures corporate reputation among tens of thousands of respondents in the United States, found that Samsung suffered one of the biggest hits of any company in 2016. The South Korean technology giant placed 49th in this year’s survey — down from seventh last year and its peak of third in 2015.

The Harris Poll, which has been conducted since 1999, prompts each respondent to rate two companies on a criteria of 20 different attributes. When asked which firm suffered the greatest drop in reputation over the past year, Samsung was the third-most common answer among those surveyed, taking 5 percent of the vote, followed by Volkswagen in second with 9 percent and Wells Fargo taking the top spot with 23 percent.

The study also offers insights as to the circumstances most likely to lead to negative reputation. “Intentional wrongdoing or illegal actions by corporate leaders” was cited by 85 percent of respondents as the greatest threat to corporate goodwill, trailed closely by “lying or misinterpreting the facts about a product or service” at 83 percent. “Product recall due to contamination” was the seventh-greatest risk, according to the poll, at 65 percent.

In Samsung’s case, the Galaxy Note 7 exploding battery debacle and arrest of vice chairman Lee Jae-Yong following a monthslong investigation stemming from charges of bribery and embezzlement align with the risks, and provide an explanation to the company’s fall from grace.

That said, it could have been much worse. Samsung’s Reputation Quotient score drop of 5.3 points year-over-year is a far cry from Volkswagen’s 20.5-point margin at the start of 2016 as a consequence of the Dieselgate controversy, when the automaker was found to have lied about the emissions levels of millions of its vehicles worldwide. That set an all-time Harris Poll record last year and was only outdone by Wells Fargo’s performance in this most recent study. The banking giant, embattled by a scandal in which it opened millions of unauthorized accounts without customers’ approval, has fallen 20.6 points.

Samsung’s relatively swift recall of the Galaxy Note 7 and announcement of stricter battery safety protocols likely mitigated what could have been an even greater public relations crisis. As the company gears up for the launch of its upcoming flagship Galaxy S8, expected to arrive in the spring, it has repeatedly assured prospective customers that it has learned from its mistakes and immediately taken those lessons to heart in developing future products.

Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Mobile

Galaxy S8 owners on Sprint start receiving the Android Pie update

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Apple

Apple Pay will be available at 70 percent of U.S. retail locations this year

Apple Pay is growing rapidly, so we've built a list of all the vendors, retailers, and companies worldwide that plan to support Apple's burgeoning mobile payment platform or already do.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

4 Lenses, 40 megapixels, and 400k ISO. Huawei’s P30 Pro is a photography freak

Huawei’s P-series phones place an emphasis on the camera. That’s why the company partnered with Leica on the camera tuning. The latest phone is the Huawei P30 Pro, and it must fill the big shoes of last year’s stunning P20 Pro. Is it…
Mobile

Does the box for AirPods 2 reveal Apple's AirPower wireless charging mat?

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Fold pre-orders will start April 26, with shipment on May 3

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro is a gorgeous-looking smartphone packed with camera ingenuity

Huawei has kicked off the new year by launching the new Huawei P30 Pro and P30. With upgraded hardware, new software tricks, and some absolutely stunning cameras, Huawei's new phones are serious contenders.
Product Review

Compared to the P30 Pro, Huawei may have stripped too much out of the P30 phone

Has Huawei pulled all the best parts out of the P30 Pro to make the P30, its cheaper, smaller sister phone? Yes, but the answer is more complicated than that. Here’s our look at the 6.1-inch P30.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro vs. P20 Pro: Which Huawei flagship is best for you?

If you're after a Huawei smartphone, but can't pick between this year's flagship and the previous two, or maybe you're looking to upgrade, we're here to explain what makes the P30 Pro, P20 Pro, and Mate 20 Pro different.
Mobile

Huawei P30 Pro vs. Huawei P30: Should you go pro or save some dough?

The latest phones from Huawei are seriously powerful, eye-catching devices, but what sets them apart? We take a look at the Huawei P30 Pro and compare it to the Huawei P30 in various categories to uncover the differences.