Samsung still in the dark on Galaxy Note 7 overheating cause

With Samsung officially pulling the plug on the Galaxy Note 7, the company is getting one step closer to putting this whole mess behind it and repairing its reputation. But why did the Galaxy Note 7 have these overheating problems in the first place, and perhaps more importantly, why were the replacement devices plagued by the same problems? As it turns out, Samsung still isn’t clear why these problems were happening, according to a write-up by the New York Times.

Shortly after the first round of Note 7 recalls were announced, we caught wind of a Samsung report that placed the blame on manufacturing flaws in Note 7 batteries produced by Samsung SDI. Samsung moved to a different battery supplier for the replacement Note 7 devices, thinking that would solve the issue. That clearly didn’t work, bringing up the possibility that it wasn’t the batteries causing the problems in the first place.

“It was too quick to blame the batteries; I think there was nothing wrong with them or that they were not the main problem,” Park Chul-wan, who is the former director of the Center for Advanced Batteries at the Korea Electronics Technology Institute, told the New York Times.

The report suggests that the blame might lay with upper management at Samsung, with two anonymous former employees saying that the company is run with a “militaristic” style. This leads to upper-level executives delivering orders without much knowledge of the hardware or technology being included in the phone.

Whatever the reason, Samsung hasn’t been able to replicate the overheating issues in its own tests, a matter further complicated by the company’s fear of lawsuits surrounding the overheating issue. In an effort to keep internal communications from leaking and potentially sparking lawsuits against the company, Samsung has been putting restrictions on how those testing the device to find the core of the issue can communicate with one another, making the testing process slow and cumbersome.

While the reason behind these problems remains hidden for the time being, Park suggests that the answer lies in the complexity of the device, saying Samsung’s desire to outcompete Apple ultimately may have led to the Note 7’s downfall. “In a race to surpass iPhone, Samsung seems to have packed it with so much innovation it became uncontrollable,” Park said.

Whether or not that’s actually the case remains to be seen, but hopefully we’ll have some clear answers on what caused this disaster sooner rather than later.

SOURCE: The New York Times

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