Nearly five months after the first Galaxy Note7 unexpectedly caught fire, prompting a massive unprecedented worldwide recall, Samsung’s ongoing headache might finally be coming to an end. On Monday, we’ll finally have the technology giant’s official answer as to what exactly went wrong.
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At 12PM on Monday Sydney time, Samsung is holding a press conference in its headquarters city of Seoul to announce the cause of the Galaxy Note7’s two separate recalls, the second of which prompted the company to end production entirely.
DJ Koh, Samsung’s head of its mobile communications arm and the man who originally introduced the Note7 to the world at its New York launch, will be speaking at the conference.
It’s widely expected that the root issue was with the phone’s battery, which was 17 per cent larger than the Note5 despite the new phone being smaller in overall dimensions and weight.
Here’s Samsung Electronics’ official statement.
Following several months of comprehensive investigations, Samsung executives will announce the cause of the Galaxy Note7 incidents and quality enhancement plan during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, on January 23, 2017.
Samsung Electronics, as well as independent expert organizations who conducted their own investigation into various aspects of the Galaxy Note7 incidents, will share their findings.
Samsung will discuss the findings of the investigations and unveil new measures Samsung has implemented in response to the incidents.
95 per cent of the 51,060 Note7 phones sold in Australia have been returned to Samsung, the company says, and it has asked Australia’s airline safety watchdog CASA to consider rescinding the requirement for announcements to be made before every domestic and international flight in Australia about the phone being banned during airline travel.
We’ll be watching the Note7 press conference and liveblogging it, so stay tuned for information on how to watch along with us on Monday. [Samsung]
Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 Recall: The Timeline
Sales of the phone were suspended due to battery issues causing devices to overheat and catch fire on September 2, first reported by Gizmodo Australia. That was escalated to a full recall a few days later on September 5.
Samsung offered customers the choice of a replacement phone (with a temporary loaner handset in the interim), a refund or exchange to a similar Samsung phone like the S7 Edge, as well as around $250 in incentives which varied depending on the telco or retail store the Note7 was purchased through.
Stock of replacement Galaxy Note7s — with the battery issue apparently fixed — arrived in Australia on September 20. Customers who had returned their phone for an exchange were contacted and told they would receive trouble-free units.
Samsung Australia repeatedly told customers to switch off both original and replacement Galaxy Note7 phones, and to return them to their place of purchase. he company limited the state of charge of phone batteries to 60 per cent, disabled Gear VR support, and cut it off from Australian mobile networks.
Currently, over 95 per cent of Samsung Galaxy Note7s have been returned to Samsung in Australia. Approximately 2500 phones are still at large. This recall rate is far ahead of the average Australian recall return rate, which is around 56 per cent according to a 2013 statement by longtime ACCC chairman Rod Sims.
Samsung’s 23 January press conference is likely to be the last official conference on the matter, but the issues with the Note7 will continue to affect Samsung’s public perception for some time. The impact of the Note7 recall is expected to cost Samsung at least $3.4 billion in the Q4 2016 and Q1 2017 quarters.