Wednesday , October 18 2017

If you’re still thinking about a Samsung Galaxy Note7, it might be time to rethink

The bad news continues for Samsung. After the initial issues with the Note 7, with faulty batteries catching fire and causing a public relations nightmare, we thought things might actually be resolved when Samsung recalled the faulty units and began to replace them with confirmed safe units. We know they’re reaching customers in Australia, and we thought it was all well and good.
It seems the battery issues might not actually be resolved. A couple of days ago, seemingly a replacement Note 7 — an apparently safe one — had a meltdown on a Southwest Airlines flight in the US, causing the cabin to fill with smoke and the plane to be evacuated. Rather fortunately, the plane was still on the ground, so no one was really hurt, but still, it wasn’t a good thing. When photos started circulating of a charred, destroyed phone sitting on some airplane carpet, people started to pay attention.

note7southwest

Hold on a minute, they thought collectively: if this is one of the safe Note 7’s that was given to users to replace the potentially dangerous ones, and it just about caught fire… how safe are these phones, really?

This morning, we’re waking to some commentary coming out of the US suggesting that the Note 7 is finished. Both Android Police and Android Central are running stories to this effect, as rumours swirl that American carrier AT&T will drop the Note 7 from sale completely. This is big news. As it stands, all four major US carriers are allowing Note 7 users (whether old devices or ‘safe’ devices) to bring their phones in and swap them for literally anything else on sale.

It really isn’t much of a stretch to simply stop selling the devices entirely, and in the US, this would be devastating for Samsung, because unlike Australia, the outright market in the US is much smaller, and carrier support is absolutely critical. If that happens in the US, though, what will happen here?

Do you want a Note 7 if everyone believes it will catch fire?

It seems somewhat likely that the status quo simply won’t be allowed to remain. If there’s ambiguity about the safety of the Note 7, you don’t want to be an owner of said phone. Do you want to board a plane only to be told that your phone isn’t safe, and that it has to be either switched off the whole flight, or worse, you can’t take it on board? Do you want to own the phone that carriers have dropped support for, and so critical updates are delayed, or worse, never eventuate? Do you want your friends to see your phone and remark “oh it hasn’t caught fire yet, Chris?”

I don’t.

I’d like to see Samsung fix this issue once and for all, but even if they do, I think the commentary coming out elsewhere is on the money at the moment. Samsung’s mobile brand is damaged, and that trust will take a long time to rebuild, if it can be. More specifically, the Note brand is quite possibly damaged beyond salvage. How could Samsung announce a Note 8 next year, without spending most of the press conference discussing how badly the Note 7 went … it’s inconceivable.

What about the Galaxy S8?

The real worry for the company now is how the Galaxy S8 will go. It’s due to be announced end of February 2017, and to go on sale not long after. Four months out, production may not have commenced, but it can’t be too far off. Are these phones going to be affected by battery issues? More relevantly, will consumers think that the S8 line will be affected by battery issues?

If the answer to that is yes, Samsung has a very, very big problem on its hands, and it needs to start rebuilding that trust now more than ever. Samsung sold around 30 million devices in the S7 range this year, and Android Central are entirely correct in their prediction: that number could be properly halved for the S8 range next year if Samsung can’t win the consumer back.

The first step to getting that trust back is to stop putting out supposedly safe devices that still melt down, and if the battery issue can’t actually be rectified for this phone, it’s time to stop pretending otherwise, cut the losses, and stop selling the Note 7 altogether.

 

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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33 Comments on "If you’re still thinking about a Samsung Galaxy Note7, it might be time to rethink"

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Member

I was going to get a Note 7 before the end of the year for when I go traveling as fires aside it’s the best smartphone going & the first Sammy that’s interested me in years but even if they do a third version I think traveling with one may be a hassle as they need to convince the airlines they’re safe & obviously the airlines are going to err on the cautious side because of the consequences.

Member
Luke Vesty

100% agree with all of this. It’s a real shame because Samsung did a lot of fantastic things with the Note 7.

Apple and Google stand to benefit here big time. Especially Apple who has their phone available on all major carriers.

Bad for Android. Disastrous for Samsung. Catastrophic for the Note series. I reckon it’s dead.

ozboy
Valued Guest
ozboy

Google must be happy, their new Pixel line up will get more attention, I for one am now looking at this phone..I was going to buy a Note 7 but not really interested paying a premium price for a sub premium phone. Now if only google would lower their price! Ah first world problems.

Member
Luke Vesty

On the one hand they stand to win a few customers off Samsung. On the other, the Note 7 is still an Android device. If Samsung’s brand is permanently tarnished that’s bad news for the entire platform.

ozboy
Valued Guest
ozboy

Not sure about that, if the problem is OS related then yes I would agree but I think it might be hardware related and if it is then google probably has another minor step up..well in advertising anyway…Our new smart phone is HOT but not as hot as a Note 7. Hahaha should be in marketing. 🙂

Member
Luke Vesty

But I guess the point I’m making is that just because someone hands back their Note 7 doesn’t mean they’ll just buy a Pixel. It’s highly likely a lot of people will switch to an iPhone, especially since they’re actually available right now – and once you’re stuck in that sticky ecosystem it’s hard to break free.

October 20 can’t come soon enough for Google.

ozboy
Valued Guest
ozboy

Fair comment however I think if you are an android user and have been for a while then you probably won’t go to the apple ecosystem you will stick will android but move from samsung…that’s what I plan to do.

Fernando De Leon
Valued Guest
Fernando De Leon

Poor Samsung yes I wish this didn’t happened
The reality is that to the common ppl those that are not phone enthusiast, will now label a galaxy phone as a catch fire phone
They don’t know the difference between a galaxy s or galaxy note…to the commoners they are just a galaxy note
And is all about perception perception.

MARYANN EVANS
Valued Guest
MARYANN EVANS

Love my Note 7. I had the original & now the replacement. It’s a beautiful phone. No issues so far. I’ll only get rid of it if they ban it & or Sprint refuses to push out updates when they are available.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

As long as you understand the risk – yours may be fine, but at this point understand that if it sets your nightstand on fire in the middle of the night it’s your mistake not Samsung’s.

Just be cautious 🙂

Member
Luke Vesty

Honestly, that’s pretty silly.

Sammy
Valued Guest
Sammy

I’m a Samy fan, will buy this only once everything is sorted out, because I’m a father of 8month old who watches videos on my s6edge a lot, i can risk myself, not my child at any cost. No matter it’s apple or samsung

kenyaone
Valued Guest
kenyaone

I’m still buying one. First chance I get. And mine will not explode because 99.9999% of them have no issues at all. And they are the BEST Phones in the world. PERIOD.

Member
Luke Vesty

Ugh.

This is the sort of comment that really worries me.

enguerran
Valued Guest
enguerran

And at the bottom of this news: “Ausdroid Deals: Samsung Samsung Galaxy Note 7”. You guys have a great sense of humour 😂

Nick Tsiotinos
Valued Guest
Nick Tsiotinos
I agree that this is now really bad news for the NOTE 7. But not the entire range of Samsung’s models or even the entire NOTE brand. I think consumers are not that gullible as to believe that every Samsung Note is going to have battery issues or that every future Note model will have the same issues. Having said that – I am quite amazed that even one of the new Note 7’s are having issues like this. The cynic in me says that it could be industrial espionage from competitors. However, putting that aside, maybe it is the… Read more »
Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
Actually, if I had to guess, I’d say the issue is in the fast charging, coupled with cheaping out in the battery manufacturing. To get fast charge you need to be very careful with temps etc. with the high currents used. I wouldn’t be surprised if in order to hit some speed level they pushed to the bounds with the bigger Note7 battery. That then created some permanent damage, maybe to insulation,etc. that could then cause later issues and overheating. It’s a guess, but batteries have been understood for ages. Getting a battery that catches on fire spontaneously ought to… Read more »
Niknaks
Valued Guest
Niknaks
Samsung should just abandon the relaunch and issue recall or give customers a chance to either swap or keep devices. Even if it deemed that recent fires were due to something else Samsung cannot afford having to explain and assure customers all is good everytime there is an incident. The fact that all Samsung flagships have 7 in their name doesn’t help differentiation (ironic) and can’t be helping their brand. Even if devices are certified safe I don’t want my note 7 anymore….reduced value, perceived risk just make not worth it anymore. Darn shame cause it’s a great phone Just… Read more »
Sammy
Valued Guest
Sammy

Note is on bad phase but galaxy s is the best smart phone of the year, i see less brand damage that what u guys think

Member
Luke Vesty

It’s brand damage for Samsung but also brand damage for the entire Galaxy line. This includes the S7 and Note 7.

It’s really bad.

Chris
Valued Guest

I think the point of this article is that it really doesn’t matter whether the phone is safe or not, though early indications are “it might not be”. It’s more a case of perception; if customers don’t THINK it’s safe, they won’t be buying it, and Samsung faces a major brand/trust challenge.

Member

You’re 100% right. I keep assuring myself and others that the Note 7 is capable after the recall, as much as I’ve wanted to buy one, I haven’t.
You know why?
The what if it does start flaming in the middle of the night? Wife, me and two kids sleeping with that as a 1% possibility? I can’t bring myself to buy it.

Is it an irrational fear? Probably.
Is it a possibility for this one phone more than any other phone before it? Definitely.

Written on my Galaxy S7 (I REALLY wanted The Note 7).

Chris York
Valued Guest
Chris York

I have just spoken to Samsung Aust, for update re:Note 7 and they ASSURED me that the Australian ver of the NOTE 7 is totally safe due to it having diff electronics to the US and Taiwan vers, what the differences were she could not tell me, although Aust ver uses the Exynos processor while US uses Snapdragon and maybe diff radio electronics

Member
Luke Vesty

Just like Samsung assured people who got a replacement Note 7 that it was safe.

Gray Fox
Valued Guest
Gray Fox
That is a typical response they say to say this is safe. My car which was built in the UK and it had an issue with the clutch master cylinder which was the same kind of issues that people in the UK had. I got showed the dealership the TSB that the UK dealers got they said “it doesn’t use the same parts ” (yeah real smart to make a custom part just for one market). After a little arguing they said they will replace the that part under warranty and when I got the technology report it said “found… Read more »
Gray Fox
Valued Guest
Gray Fox

Well since the US fire Marshalls have the phone Samsung can’t do much tests.
Based on what the customer(of the phone) he said he powered down the phone then put it in his pocket so the cell may have been damaged like that iPhone that caught fire due to it being damaged.

Squidgy (David)
Valued Guest
Squidgy (David)

I picked up a Note 7 (safe one!) a few days ago. I missed it so much when I had to return it, and the claims of a “safe” model catching fire on a plane just seem too staged to me.
The fact that it was on a plane (Perfect clickbait/scaring) and a picture was taken where you can clearly tell it’s on a plane floor… Nah I’m not buying it.

The Note 7 is probably the best phone purchase I’ve ever made and I can’t pick any flaws with it.

SachmoJoe
Valued Guest
SachmoJoe

This is ignoring the fact that there have been 6 or 7 “safe” Note 7’s spontaneously combust in the US and several more in other countries. Samsung have ceased production. They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t convinced the threat is real.

BaldwinP
Valued Guest
BaldwinP

If this was BS, Samsung would be out there with everything at their disposal discrediting the story, not discontinuing production. Take the damn phone back.

Member

Sucks.
I was going to start the new year with the Note7 and the S3 Frontier.
I’ll just have to bear it with my Nexus6 and wait for the Note8, then.

Member
Luke Vesty

Dude.

Pixel XL.

Member

It will be interesting to see which brands go back to removable batteries in their 2017 phones. Would have saved Samsung a lot of time, money and reputation.

Sending a new battery out its a lot easier that what they have to do (assuming the issue is in the batter and not the phone itself, bending etc).

BaldwinP
Valued Guest
BaldwinP

Hard to know if it’s the battery in isolation, or an aspect of the design that puts pressure on the battery.

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