Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 debuted to almost surprising critical acclaim earlier this month, but since launch we’ve seen occasional reports of devices exploding while being charged. The company said yesterday that it delayed Note 7 shipments while it looked into the situation, but a report from Korea’s Yonhap News Agency suggests Samsung knows what’s going on and is prepared to announce a widespread recall.
Yonhap spoke to an anonymous Samsung official, who claimed the cause of the explosions stemmed from the Galaxy Note 7’s battery. While the exact cause of these battery explosions has yet to be disclosed, Yonhap’s source went on to say “less than 0.1 percent” of devices sold are affected. When asked for comment, a Samsung spokesperson provided the following statement:
“In response to questions on Galaxy Note7, we are conducting a thorough inspection. We will share the findings as soon as possible. Samsung is fully committed to providing the highest quality products to our consumers.”
If the report holds true, the company doesn’t plan to announce the results of its investigation until either this weekend or early next week. That delay is said to be a result of discussions Samsung is having with its global carrier partners — Verizon is said to be one such company Samsung is discussing the matter with, which suggests that the upcoming recall could be a global one. The cynics in us also can’t help but note that if Samsung waits to announce the results of its investigation until next week, it might be able to dodge a certain degree of press scrutiny at the IFA tradeshow currently running in Berlin.
To date, the Note 7 has been launched in ten countries, and Samsung has said demand has exceeded its own expectations. The sales situation has grown so strained, in fact, that Samsung told CNBC it had to adjust the device’s launch in some markets. That people want Galaxy Note 7s isn’t a surprise; reviewers (myself included) seemed to love the device. More importantly, after the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge helped the company rebound from a rough financial start to 2016, Samsung looked to the Note 7 as one of its financial pillars for the latter half of this year. If a recall — global or otherwise — is in the works, Samsung’s near future won’t be as rosy as it hoped.