UPDATE: In a statement released on the U.S. newsroom of Samsung’s website, the company says,
Samsung understands the concern our carriers and consumers must be feeling after recent reports have raised questions about our newly released replacement Note7 devices. We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible. We remain in close contact with the CPSC throughout this process.
If we conclude a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation. We want to reassure our customers that we take every report seriously and we appreciate their patience as we work diligently through this process.
Thus, if the phone that burst into flams on the airplane was a replacement device then Samsung could be in deep trouble. It could even have to go for a second global recall drive if the government authorities ask them to, but this would adversly hurt their already tarnished image even more.
While Samsung may have been celebrating the replacement of half a billion defected Note 7 devices, its battery woes are still far from over. The company had begun sale of new devices with non-exploding batteries a good two weeks ago, but now reports of a new ‘safe’ Note 7 smoking and bursting into flames is taking over the interwebs.
According to The Verge, a Southwestern Airlines was immediately grounded and evacuated when one of passenger Brian Green’s pocket started smoking while he waited for his flight from Louisville to Baltimore to leave the gate. And guess what, it was one of the non-exploding Note 7s that Green had himself replaced from an AT&T store on 21st September.
As you can see in the image above, the box does have the ‘black square’ which demarkates the replacement units from the defected ones. Though the phone is now all sooty and charred, but Green has confirmed that his Note 7 did indeed have the green battery indicator that has been added to easily identify post-recall phones.
He further also added that he shut off his smartphone, which was 80 per cent charged, and put it back in his pocket on the request of the flight attendant. It was then that he noticed fumes coming out of his pocket, Green retrieved the phone from his pocket and dropped it on the floor of the plane which was evacuated at once. He describes the fumes coming from the phone as “thick grey-green angry smoke.”
While the entire airplane was evacuated the moment everyone noticed the smoking Note 7, some of Green’s colleagues made a quick trip back to the plane to retreive some personal belongings. They noticed that the Note 7 had burned through the carpet on the plane, and was now completely ablaze on the metal subfloor.
The burned down Note 7 is currently in possession of the Louisville fire department, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is opening an investigation into this incident. On the other hand, Green has already replaced the Note 7 with a trusty rival device — iPhone 7 (Apple 1, Samsung 0).
Samsung has also dispensed a statement over the questionable explosion of the new Note 7.
Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share,
says the spokesperson.
Though this is just one of the replaced smartphones, and this could be a fluke incident, but it will definitely add to the already spotted chargesheet of the Korean giant. It will probably not be a widespread issue as none of the other 999,999 users have reported any signs of smokes till date. This recall is also costing the Korean giant a heartbreaking billion dollars, and it has already lost $26 billion market value.
The Note 7, however, will now forever come to be known as the ‘exploding’ smartphone of the 21st century.