Samsung Investigating Note7 Fire in Southwest Airlines Jet
Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told eWEEK that he continues to watch the situation surrounding the phone, but is keeping an open mind. "I have been monitoring some claims in China of the original Note7 with the 'good' battery catching fire, but not a single one of these incidents has been traced back to Samsung," said Moorhead. "So for right now, we all need complete information before jumping to any conclusions. The stakes are huge here and would be a shame if anyone makes decisions on anything less than complete information." At the same time, "if it is verified that the phone is, in fact, a replacement phone, that caught fire, Samsung will have some major problems on its hands as I believe people will question the quality of their phones and maybe other devices like TVs and washing machines," said Moorhead. "Samsung at that point, if verified, would be smart to move very quickly to a Note8." Samsung earlier this week had announced that its Note7 flagship smartphones are once again being rolled out to stores and mobile carriers and will soon be available for purchase. The new stocks of the handsets began being distributed in Korea on Oct. 1 and are being expanded to other markets around the world in the coming weeks, the company said in an Oct. 3 statement.As the new phone supplies arrive around the globe, Samsung said it "continues to strongly encourage all Galaxy Note7 users who have not yet participated in the exchange program to immediately do so by contacting their place of purchase or calling a designated local call center as soon as possible." The original Samsung Note7 was sold through AT&T, Best Buy, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, as well as through Samsung and other websites from August 2016 through September 2016 for between $850 and $890. Samsung claims that more than 1 million customers around the world now have received and are using new replacement Note7 smartphones that include batteries that are approved for use. The approved batteries do not contain the flaws that allowed earlier batteries to catch fire or explode. About 90 percent of Note7 owners are staying with the model after returning their phones due to the global recall, Samsung said previously. In September, Samsung advised customers that the new Note7 handsets can be distinguished from the recalled phones by the presence of a green battery charging light on their displays, in contrast to the white charging light indicator that was included in the original Note7 that had the battery problems. The new green battery icon is visible on the phone's status bar, on its always-on display screen, and on the phone's power-off prompt screen, which can be accessed by long-pressing the power key. The green lights appear after software updates are applied to the new phones. Users can also check the original display box that came with their phones to check for a solid black square on the top right of the label on the box. The solid black square indicates that the Note7 inside is one of the updated, non-defective units. The Note7, introduced in August, is a 4G LTE phone that features all-new iris scanning capabilities for security, a much-improved integrated S Pen stylus, a first-ever "Secure Folder" feature and other updates aimed at making users more productive and creative. It is slimmer and more rounded compared with the previous version, the Note 5, which debuted in August 2015. The latest device takes many of its features from the company's latest S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, which were released in March. Highlighting the Note7 is a 5.7-inch quad HD dual-edge Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 octa-core 64-bit processor, 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, 64GB of on-board storage, a microSD slot for additional storage via memory cards up to 256GB and the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system.
To promote the renewed availability of the handsets, Samsung opened Galaxy Note7 "experience zone" stores in several locations across Korea where customers can try out the phones and their features, the company announced.