Samsung Still Doesn't Know Exact Cause of Samsung Note7 Fires

Today's topics include the third recall of Samsung Note7 smartphones, the upgrade deal that Samsung issued to South Korean customers who were affected by the Note7 recalls, the introduction of new Lenovo notebook and desktop computers with the latest AMD chips, and the competition between Intel and ARM to increase their internet of things market share.

Even now, Samsung still does not know the exact cause of the more than 100 battery fires and explosions reported in its Note7 smartphones before they were recalled twice since September.

The conclusion, in an Oct. 23 article by The Wall Street Journal, states that a laboratory report about "scans of some faulty devices showed a protrusion in Note 7 batteries supplied by Samsung SDI Co., a company affiliate, while phones with batteries from another supplier didn't" show pronounced bulges.

The company's executives moved to recall the devices, and then quickly released new supplies of the phones, the story reported. Quickly, though, the new Note7 devices were also experiencing battery fires and explosions, essentially dooming the Samsung flagship smartphone model and the company's replacement strategy.

As Samsung continues to work to recover from the Galaxy Note7 battery fires and recall debacle, the company is offering buyers in South Korea a 50 percent discount on a replacement Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge handset, which can then be traded in for free when the upcoming Galaxy S8 or Note8 comes out sometime in 2017.

Despite this offer, at least 527 buyers in South Korea have joined a class action lawsuit asking for damages due to the hassles they experienced after purchasing their smartphones.

The 50 percent off offer on Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge smartphones was revealed Oct. 24 in a story by Reuters as a move by Samsung to retain customers.

At the Canalys Channels Forum in China, AMD officials showed off two new Lenovo commercial notebooks and a desktop PC powered by the chip maker's seventh Generation Pro accelerated processing units (APUs), formerly code-named "Bristol Ridge Pro" and launched in September.

The company earlier this month announced that Lenovo and HP Inc., the world's top two PC vendors, would be the first to introduce new systems powered by the chips.

HP offers several systems in its Elite 700 Series portfolio, including notebooks, desktops and an all-in-one PC. Now Lenovo is showing off its own AMD-powered systems—the ThinkPad E475 and E575 notebooks and ThinkCentre M715 Tiny desktop.

Chip rivals Intel and ARM are making deeper pushes into the increasingly competitive internet of things arena. At the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 25, Intel officials unveiled the latest iteration of its low-power Atom processors, the E3900 series, which is aimed at IoT applications and comes with greater levels of performance, security, and image and video processing power.

At the opening day of the company's TechCon 2016 show in Santa Clara, Calif., ARM officials are rolling out a suite of products—from new chip designs and radio technology to a cloud-based services platform—that they say will deliver greater security, low-power connectivity and efficiency to IoT environments.

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