Samsung is finding itself in a position of nobody’s envy as it tries to fight a losing battle on many fronts. After reported incidents of the Note 7 phones catching fire, we had another instance in India where in a Note 2 phone caught fire in the middle of a flight. Subsequently, the DGCA or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued an advisory that forbade anyone from boarding a plane with Note 2 phones. The company had already issued a global recall of the Note 7, as it tried to assuage customer feelings and strong reactions from the investors. The stock had already tanked by the time Samsung began taking action to recover some of the lost ground. On 9th September, Samsung’s stock on the Korean Stock Market went down under $1,500 mark.
Samsung issued a global recall and shipped close to 500,000 replacement handsets to the United States. It also came out with a software update on 20th September. The software code would limit the charging on Samung Note 7 phones to 60 percent of the total battery capacity as the issue with overheating of the phone was found to be a consequence of faulty battery on the phones. The software update also warned users against charging the phone or making use of the phone. While all this was going on, the replacement phones started arriving in the US stores. Previous owners were requested to get their phones to check if the battery was faulty. If the battery was from a defective lot, the phones would be replaced. Quite a few people availaed the replacement scheme. However, the pace of replacements worried Samsung as less than 50 percent people had come forward to get their phones replaced. Due to the slow pace of phone exchange, Samsung put off the resumption of Note 7 phones in Korea by 3 days to 1st October.
In the past couple of days, however, there are reports of the new Note 7 phones reporting the same problems of overheating. Yesterday, a Note 7 phone caught fire in China and the owner mentioned that his phone had a safe battery. Samsung has sought access to the phone to find out the cause of the device catching fire, but the owner has refused access to them. Samsung has maintained that the issue of battery is limited to phones that had been sold in the US before 15th September, and hence the recent incident of Note 7 catching fire in China needs to be investigated by its technical team to find the actual cause.
The problem for Samsung is that Apple has unveiled the iPhone and iPhone 7s. Both devices are almost on an identical price line with Samsung’s Note 7 and this is making life difficult for Samsung. The company, for sure, is ceding ground to Apple as it is fighting a battle of perception and quality across the world.
Have a look at the following video to keep updated with the current status of recall: