Just a couple of months ago, Samsung had all but stolen Apple’s thunder when it introduced its new Android smartphone ahead of the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel for the market that doesn’t want iPhones, or for those who want to switch. But just a few weeks ago, Samsung’s break turned from bad to worse, and even more worse. A month ago, Samsung was forced to initiate a global recall of its new flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7, because hundreds of these phones were exploding due to a faulty battery, reportedly injuring children and causing fires in cars, hotel rooms, and a few homes. However, the recall was for issuing replacement devices to customers who already bought Galaxy Note 7 phones with the battery problem.
And if things can turn from worse to even more worse, recently, a Note 7 caught fire and burned the carpet and started smoking uncontrollably on a Southwest Airline flight from Louisville, Kentucky, forcing the evacuation of the plane. The family that owned the phone said to Reuters News and The Verge that it was a replacement device that they got from an AT&T store. As part of Samsung’s and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigations, when the Note 7 phone from the flight was checked out from its IMEI code through the Samsung checker, said phone was indeed a replacement device, and should not have been affected by the recall. According to an anonymous source, the faulty battery is now being traced to Samsung’s China factories with the possibility of internal sabotage from Chinese tech laborers. This means that the faulty battery screwup affects not just phones sold earlier but also replacement devices. To add to Samsung’s already bad colossal situation, a Samsung washing machine also reportedly exploded a couple of weeks ago, spewing parts out like shrapnel. The company is still investigating the matter pending a recall.
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Airlines all over the world are already warning passengers that they will refuse boarding to anyone carrying a Samsung Note 7, even if the device is turned off. And this total ban of the phone on flights is not only making Samsung the butt of jokes globally, but as Apple is now raking in the benefits of the disaster after its iPhone 7 launching, Google’s new Pixel smartphone is also benefiting from this South Korean discomfiture. The Google Pixel smart phone is already proving to be a premium phone ahead of the iPhone and anything Android phones have dished out, including those from Samsung. And the fact that it costs almost the same, if not a little bit cheaper, than Apple and Samsung phones is a sure way to sway customers away from the present smart phone leaders. But back to Samsung, the company has already issued a total global recall of all its 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones shipped to retailers. It has also called for the complete halt in the selling of the smartphone and has already refunded almost half of more than a million phones in the US and South Korea.