The following is an excerpt from Will Oremus | October 11, 2016 | Slate.com |
Samsung's top-end smartphone is dead.
In a move that shook the mobile industry, the South Korean giant officially pulled the plug on its new Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday, recalling every phone it had sold around the world and permanently ceasing production just six weeks after it went on sale. Thus ends a saga that included reports of overheating, burning, and even exploding phones, followed by a massive recall that failed to solve the problem.
Exactly what went wrong remains unclear. The company is investigating, as are regulators in multiple countries. As the Verge points out, every lithium-ion battery–powered device comes with some risk of a short circuit if it isn't designed or put together properly. (See: hoverboards.) That’s why the cellphone industry has a well-documented history of exploding batteries. But a flaw this debilitating is rare. Samsung received more than 100 reports of Galaxy Note 7 batteries catching fire in less than two months, even after a September recall. Last week, a Southwest Airlines flight was evacuated after one of the new, supposedly safe handsets began emitting plumes of smoke.
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