Samsung's burning

11 October 2016 | Billy Thompson

When you buy a new smart phone, you tend to be excited to discover the new features. Maybe the camera has been updated to take higher resolution photos. Maybe the storage has been increased by a few Megabytes. Maybe the device sets itself on fire… wait…what? Well, for Samsung’s newest smart phone this last one seems to be the case. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was said to be the company’s ‘best smartphone yet’, when it was first released less than two months ago. However, this statement couldn’t appear further from the truth today, as Samsung has recalled the device for the second time in a month and permanently stopped all production of it.

The issues started in September, only a month after the smartphone’s release. 2.5 million devices were recalled by Samsung after complaints of exploding batteries. Not long after, the company replaced all devices and insisted that, this time, they were safe. However, it seems to have been a case of far from it, thanks to a deluge of reports of the replacement phones catching fire as well.

One man from Kentucky said he woke up to find his bedroom full of smoke, caused by his Galaxy Note 7 catching fire. Another incident saw a Southwest Airlines plane in the US evacuated after a man’s new Galaxy Note 7 began emitting smoke. Yet another story saw a man hospitalised with acute bronchitis due to smoke inhalation from his replacement device catching fire.

If you've taken a flight in the last few weeks, you might have seen that airlines have explicit warnings, urging you to keep Samsung Galaxy Note 7's turned off at all times. Hardly a ringing endorsement!

This scandal has hugely affected Samsung’s PR, massively damaging the brand. It remains to be seen as to whether the damage is irreparable, but in the short term at least it’s almost certainly going to lose masses of custom.

And all of this couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company. Samsung’s rival, Apple, has had its own issues with its latest device; the iPhone 7. If the Galaxy Note 7 had been a rip-roaring success, then it would’ve seen Samsung given a huge competitive advantage over Apple. However, Apple has since seen its stock on the rise again, whilst Samsung’s shares have plummeted.

I’m sure Apple is thankful for the smokescreen *laughs loudly at own wit* billowing over its own problems.

Here’s a simple tip from me to Samsung though; when making a smartphone, try to avoid adding ‘fires’ to the features, or you'll see your market share go up in flames *laughs loudly again*.