Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Sep 2016 09:33 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Nearly two weeks after Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 due to the risk of explosion, the device is still being used just as frequently by its owners. This is according to data from Apteligent, a mobile analytics company that claims "usage rate of the phone among existing users has been almost the exact same since the day of the recall."

It seems not even exploding batteries can tear users away from their smartphones, but the apparent reticence of users to get rid of their faulty devices is not being helped by Samsung's mismanagement of the recall process. Swapping 2.5 million smartphones is certainly no easy task, but the South Korean firm has not helped the situation by issuing confusing information to consumers. The longer the situation goes on, the more damage it does to the company's brand.

A few notes about the Note 7 problems. First, this is no laughing matter. There's a reason not even Apple made fun of Samsung's problems during the iPhone event (something Apple normally revels in), because they, too, know that such manufacturing defects in which real people can get hurt can actually happen to anyone. Battery technology effectively comes down to stuffing highly flammable and dangerous liquids and chemicals in pressurised containers in your pockets, and lithium-ion batteries have a long history of catching fire and exploding.

Second, unlike the doom and gloom you read everywhere, this whole story will be out of the media and out of the public's eye (if it's even been in the latter's eye to begin with) a few months from now, and nobody will care. This will do far, far less to damage Samsung's brand than people think (or hope).

Third, that being said, Samsung is indeed not handling the recall very well. There should've been a quicker response, a clearer response, a more pervasive response. These things pose a real danger to people, and should've been taken off the street much, much quicker than this.

I hope we won't have to read about people dying because of this.

Thread beginning with comment 634450
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 16th Sep 2016 11:57 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

I guess Samsung is not particularly keen on replacing the affected devices. They recalled the devices, so they did what the law requires them to do. Now whenever one's Note 7 explodes, even if it blows the owner's head off it is not Samsung's fault. I think they are fine with that. Sure, I have no proof for this "theory" of mine, and it is just as credible as any other conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy theories turn out to be true.

Edited 2016-09-16 12:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ddc_
by ahferroin7 on Fri 16th Sep 2016 12:29 in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

It's debatable whether it's better for Samsung to force the recall or not. From a public safety perspective it's a pretty obvious choice, but Samsung is a business, not a public safety organization, and forcing people to return broken hardware (and thus be without a phone for potentially quite some time) could be just as bad for their reputation as someone dying as a result of a battery exploding.

They still could get charged for criminal negligence for this if somebody dies, but I don't think that's likely to happen (either someone dying or charges being filed).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Fri 16th Sep 2016 12:49 in reply to "RE: Comment by ddc_"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

From a public safety perspective it's a pretty obvious choice,

Sure. The problem is that Samsung does not display any interest in public safety, or even in its customers' interests.

forcing people to return broken hardware [...] could be just as bad for their reputation

That's not only reputation that counts. They also have to produce extra batteries to give away for free (assuming that they are going to reuse returned devices). They also have other costs like transportation and testing of returned devices, etc. That is significant amount of money that will contribute to their financial figures.

They still could get charged for criminal negligence for this if somebody dies, but I don't think that's likely to happen (either someone dying or charges being filed).

Well, that was my point: Samsung did exactly what it was required to do, so they are arguably out of trouble already. They are not supposed to babysit their customers.

P.S.: It may seem that I am bashing Samsung. No. Replace "Samsung" with any other tech company (HTC, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Jolla, etc.) and the comment will be just as valid.

Edited 2016-09-16 12:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by ddc_
by Brendan on Fri 16th Sep 2016 17:11 in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I guess Samsung is not particularly keen on replacing the affected devices. They recalled the devices, so they did what the law requires them to do. Now whenever one's Note 7 explodes, even if it blows the owner's head off it is not Samsung's fault. I think they are fine with that. Sure, I have no proof for this "theory" of mine, and it is just as credible as any other conspiracy theory, but sometimes conspiracy theories turn out to be true.


For pure (emotionless) economics; if the estimated cost of compensating victims plus the estimated cost to future sales/marketing (due to any damage to reputation) is less than the estimated cost of fixing the flaw; then it's bad (for $$) to fix the flaw.

For the exact same reason; if the estimated cost of compensating victims plus the estimated cost to future sales/marketing is less than the cost of adequate quality control procedures (e.g. stress testing each phone's batteries at the factory and only shipping phones that pass); then it's bad (for $$) to ensure this kind of flaw can never happen in the first place.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 4