We interrupt our ongoing IFA 2016 coverage to bring you up to speed on the latest exploding Galaxy Note 7 developments. It turns out online reports of the hotly demanded dual-edged Android phablet arbitrarily bursting into flames while charging weren’t part of some elaborated hoax, and unauthorized use of third-party accessories wasn’t the root cause of the mysterious occurrences either.
Korean media claims Samsung has “tentatively concluded” (already?) that faulty batteries are behind hot-headed Note 7 units sold in Korea, as well as overseas, large-scale recalls likely being the only acceptable way out of this massive pickle for the world’s most popular smartphone vendor.
Nothing’s of course confirmed yet, aside from quality checks recently kicked off in the OEM’s homeland, which brought regional deliveries to a temporary standstill. But if the tests’ rumored “tentative” conclusion holds water, at least 400,000 at-risk early South Korean buyers would need to be issued full refunds or receive working device replacements.
Samsung could be able to dodge similar unpleasant situations elsewhere, as the issue is purportedly limited to Galaxy Note 7 copies packing batteries manufactured by specialist subsidiary Samsung SDI in cahoots with a company called ITM Semiconductor. Nonetheless, this is going to hurt the smooth global expansion of the 5.7-incher, not to mention its brand awareness and reliability, and at the end of the day, its previously remarkable box-office outlook too.