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Samsung’s rocky run continues

Samsung’s rocky run continues

After a tough 2016, Samsung could be looking down the barrel of an even tougher 2017

As Samsung prepares to share the findings of its investigation into the cause of its Galaxy Note7 battery fault, the company is set to face new challenges into the new year.

On January 15, Reuters reported that an internal probe by Samsung Electronics into what caused some of its flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphones to spontaneously combust is likely to place the blame on the device’s battery.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Korean electronics leviathan found the battery was the main reason behind the spate of fires that started to occur shortly after the commercial release of the flagship smartphone last year.

The company is yet to officially comment on the findings of its internal probe into the Galaxy Note7 debacle. However, it is expected to reveal the results of the investigation on January 23, according to Reuters.

If Samsung’s official findings from the investigation do, indeed, point the finger of blame at the Note7 battery itself, it would come despite moves by the company late last year to issue replacement devices with different batteries.

Incidences of battery fault-related combustion among Galaxy Note7 devices continued to plague Samsung, even after the company issued software updates to limit the battery power of the devices to 60 per cent.

The company is also thought to have shopped around for new battery suppliers following its issues with the Note7, reportedly engaging LG Chem about the possibility of using the rival company’s batteries in its new smartphones.

Ultimately, the Galaxy Note7 issues saw the company recall millions of units worldwide, permanently discontinuing production of the device, and issue a software update aimed at bricking the phone, rendering the remaining Note7 units unusable.

The moves taken by Samsung to withdraw its troubled Note7 device from the global market did not prevent some consumers from taking legal action against the company over issues stemming from the device's faults.

Not only has the company faced lawsuits from alleged victims of the overheating batteries on the Note7 smartphones, in October last year, it received additional legal overtures by a group of consumers in the United States that proposed a class action lawsuit for compensation over the time it took to replace and discontinue the device.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s Note7 recall woes were compounded late last year with the recall of millions of washing machines made between 2010 and 2013 over safety issue concerns.

While the issues with the Note7 made 2016 a bumpy year for Samsung, with the company’s smartphone division seeing sales and profits dive following the recall, the company has also started 2017 in less than ideal circumstances.


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