Samsung was caught between a rock and a hard place ever since the first Galaxy Note 7 unit allegedly went boom while charging as per usual. The issue, no matter how isolated, couldn’t just be ignored.
But the world’s largest smartphone vendor also had to stick to a very tight schedule, the point of the new Android phablet’s August launch being to get as much of a head start on the iPhone 7 as possible.
Still, with reports of explosive Note 7s spreading like wildfire (pun absolutely intended), Samsung needed to think fast, and try to nip the situation in the bud as best as it could. Deliveries were halted in Korea, then a few other places, quality checks began, only taking a couple of days to pinpoint faulty batteries, not third-party accessories or user misconduct, as the root cause of the now widespread plague.
Given the problem at first appeared to concern merely devices sold in the OEM’s homeland, with cell packs manufactured by one particular supplying subsidiary, the hope was any prospective recall might be contained to the Asian country.
Ultimately, Samsung decided to employ the “better safe than sorry” tactic, temporarily pulling the plug on worldwide sales, as well as offering to replace roughly a million Galaxy Note 7 copies already shipped or fully refund their early adopters. That’s despite “less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume” being reportedly afflicted, and its service centers so far receiving just 35 formal complaints of battery defects or fires. And let’s not forget the iPhone 7 is fast approaching.