Samsung blames Galaxy Note 7 fires on faulty batteries

Samsung has blamed faulty batteries for the fires that hit its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device last year, forcing the company to recall 2.5 million units of the phone

23 January 2017, 8:02am
Samsung said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for the failure of the Note 7 devices
Samsung said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for the failure of the Note 7 devices
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd indicated on Monday that its latest flagship Galaxy S smartphone could be delayed as it pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.

Wrapping up its months-long probe into the cause of the Note 7 debacle, the company said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for a product failure that wiped $5.3 billion off its operating profit after it was forces to discontinue the smartphone. Samsung had announced a recall of 2.5 million units of the phone in September 2016 after several devices exploded or caught fire.

Internal and independent investigations "concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents", Samsung said in a statement.

"We sincerely apologise for the discomfort and concern we have caused to our customers," Koh Dong-Jin, the head of its mobile business, said bowing before hundreds of reporters and cameramen at a press conference in Seoul.

Koh said procedures had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the fires, as investors look to the launch of the South Korean tech giant's first premium handset since the Note 7, the Galaxy S8, some time this year.

"The lessons of this incident are deeply reflected in our culture and process," Koh told reporters at a press briefing. "Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust."

However, Koh said the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, which begins on 27 February, the traditional forum for Samsung premium product launches. He did not comment on when the company planned to launch the new handset.