The Samsung Note 7 battery problem is indeed a major blow but not unheard of. The Note 5 had a somewhat humorous problem if the user put the stylus in the wrong way and Apple survived the 2010 Antennagate fiasco. Samsung will recover and in fact, there are already rumors they’ve ramped up customer service to save face (yeah, those goofy rejections for the free 256GB SD card are now suddenly being approved with no questions asked). Still, with Apple’s new iPhone 7 coming out in mere weeks, the battery grenade problem couldn’t have happened at a more inopportune time. And that’s why Samsung will do everything possible to make sure you do NOT have to do without your phone while a geek in Korea swaps out the battery for a kinder, less violent version.
First, Samsung does not want that Note 7 to leave your hands. At least not while Apple is about to roll out the iPhone 7. The only way this fiasco could get worse is if customers began returning Note 7’s in droves once they tried out the new iPhone 7 while they waited for their Note to be repaired and returned.
Secondly, mobile devices have become such an integral part of our lives, doing without one for even a day is the equivalent of taking away one’s Zoloft. It would be such a miserable experience, nobody would ever forget it. And Samsung does not want people associating their product with the deep desire to jump off a bridge.
So how will they fix your phone? The battery is removable but it’s a fairly major surgery that requires removing the back with a special tool, taking care not to destroy the waterproof gasket, removing a bunch of screws to get the protective plate off, peeling off another plastic protector, then wrenching the battery from the board. I don’t see any way that can be done in-house by the masses, especially if you want to retain the waterproof seals. Other options could be (1) offering a replacement phone, (2) taking the device to your local provider or Samsung vendor for repairs, or (3) being very selective about who is required to send back their phones (e.g. You can wait until after your battery blows to send it in – we’ll cover it but don’t blame us if you burn up alive in your sleep).
Either way, unless Carly Fiorina is making decisions for the company, requiring Note 7 customers to do without their mobile device for more than a day or two is not gonna happen – so enjoy your Note 7 before it blows.
Samsung’s official statement
Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.
To date (as of September 1) there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.
For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks. Instructions on the replacement process will be shared next week.
We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.