Samsung reveals cause of Galaxy Note 7 explosions

After exhaustive investigations, Samsung has finally found the reason for the explosive failure of the Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's worldwide recall of Galaxy Note 7 phones was rushed, leading to insufficient testing of the replacement battery

Following months of silence, Samsung has finally answered the burning question, revealing the specific fault that led to its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone exploding. In a marathon press conference, the South Korean electronics giant revealed its process for identifying the fault, the precise cause of the problem, and what it plans to do in order to prevent similar issues in the future. The information released offers a rare insight into smartphone manufacturing and a substantial effort to win back consumer trust.

As reported by Wired, in a two-hour press event from the company’s headquarters in South Korea officials explained two separate battery faults led to the debacle. Ultimately, confusion and delays in identifying and isolating the specific problems led to the company’s slow handling of the situation.

The findings concluded the smartphone’s batteries were entirely to blame, not the device’s fundamental design

In Galaxy Note 7 batteries sourced from supplier Samsung SDI, not enough space was left in the battery’s heat-sealed pouch for cells to expand and contract during the charging process. As the cells grew and were squeezed together, some shorted. Samsung’s initial fix was to replace these faulty batteries with cells from their second supplier.

However, the company’s second supplier, Amperex Technology, also produced faulty batteries. Some were produced without insulation tape, and sharp corners on the batteries damaged some cell separators, which also resulted in shorts. The findings concluded the smartphone’s batteries were entirely to blame, not the device’s fundamental design.

In order to identify the faults, Samsung tested 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries in a facility built specifically for the task. According to Samsung mobile communications chief DJ Koh, a team of 700 engineers worked on the testing process, with their findings reviewed by independent agencies.

Because both Samsung’s battery suppliers had faults, what should have been a minor inconvenience turned into a full-blown crisis. The rush to manufacture replacement batteries after the first recall only exacerbated problems. Developing batteries that are powerful enough to fuel today’s smartphones, yet slim enough to fit more restrictive designs, is also a difficult task.

This insight into the company’s manufacturing and testing process is a clear attempt to foster a renewed trust for the Galaxy Note 7’s inevitable replacement. As reported by CNET, Samsung revealed a new, more thorough eight-point testing procedure for ensuring its future devices will not suffer the same problem.

Related topics: , ,