Samsung has finally released the official results of its investigation into the Galaxy Note 7 explosions, following through on its promise to do so on Jan. 23.
The official announcement confirmed previous reports on the results of the investigation while also providing more detail on what went wrong with the controversial smartphone.
Samsung Blames Batteries For Galaxy Note 7 Fiasco
Last week, a source revealed that Samsung has pinpointed the batteries of the Galaxy Note 7 as the culprit for the explosions that caused units of the smartphone to catch fire. It was said that the hardware and software of the Galaxy Note 7 had nothing to do with the issue.
A more recent report further revealed that irregular sizes and manufacturing problems caused the defects in the Galaxy Note 7 batteries that resulted in overheating. Samsung used two kinds of batteries for the Galaxy Note 7, one manufactured by affiliate Samsung SDI and the other by supplier Amperex Technology. The Samsung SDI batteries were discovered to have irregular sizes in preliminary investigations that led to the first Galaxy Note 7 recall, leading to Samsung tapping Amperex as the sole battery supplier for the smartphone. However, the increased rate of production led to manufacturing problems, with defects pushing Samsung to once again recall the devices.
Official Results Of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 Investigation
The official results that Samsung has released gave even more detail on what went wrong with the batteries of the Galaxy Note 7.
In a press conference, Dong-jin Koh, the mobile business head for Samsung, confirmed that there were two distinct instances of defects in the Galaxy Note 7 batteries.
In the first batch of batteries manufactured by Samsung SDI, the upper right hand corner of the batteries had defects in the form of deflections in the negative electrodes. There were also cases of incorrect positioning for the tip of the negative electrode, resulting in increased chances of the negative layer and the positive layer of the batteries coming into contact and short circuiting.
In the second batch of batteries manufactured by Amperex and placed in replacement units of the Galaxy Note 7, there were traces of melted copper discovered near the area of the negative electrode. Due to such welding issues, there was likewise an increased risk of contact between the positive and negative layers of the batteries.
To support the investigation, Samsung employed 700 engineers in testing procedures involving 200,000 units of the Galaxy Note 7 and 30,000 of the smartphone's batteries. The company also tapped external investigators from TUV Rheinland, Exponent, and UL to aid in the probe.
What's Next For Samsung?
"It was a very painful period, but in a couple of months we learned a lot," said Koh in an interview with Recode, adding that the controversy should serve as an opportunity for Samsung and the entire mobile device industry to improve safety measures involving lithium-ion battery technology.
Samsung is taking full responsibility for all the components of the smartphones and will now be adding several steps in its testing procedures for lithium-ion batteries. The company is also forming an advisory board focused on batteries.
Samsung's head for the United States, Tim Baxter, believes that if not for the manufacturing problems encountered by the ramp up of production for the Amperex batteries, the Galaxy Note 7 would still be available in the market.
The big question on the matter is whether consumers will once again be able to trust Samsung and its mobile devices, with the upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 to serve as the barometer on how the company will bounce back from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.