Samsung Galaxy Note7 Latest Casualty of Lithium Ion Battery Fires - Page 2

"To date [as of Sept. 1] there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market," Samsung said.

The Samsung statement also said that the company will replace existing Galaxy Note7 devices over the coming weeks, which in the U.S. turns out to be next week.

Samsung has just announced a U.S. Product Exchange Program in which existing owners can trade their recalled Note7 devices for new devices, presumably without the tendency to catch fire. They can also choose a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, plus accessories, to make up the difference in value. And there's a $25 gift card or bill credit to sweeten the pot.

If you have several Galaxy Note7 devices in your offices that haven't been distributed and are still in sealed boxes, call your supplier and return them for a refund or replacement, since this is clearly a warranty issue. For devices that have been distributed to employees, the best solution is to recall them and replace them with some other device, even if it's the older phones they were using before the Note7s arrived.

Once you have the devices that you've retrieved from your employees, see if you can return them to your supplier. If you can't, then store the devices away from flammable objects (including other Note7s) and start issuing something else to employees who need a device.

It's worth noting that the Galaxy Note7 problem emerged only a few days before the introduction of Apple's iPhone 7. If you bought your company's Galaxy Note7 devices from your carrier, you now have the leverage you need to either swap them for the soon-to-be-released iPhone 7 devices or to swap them for existing iPhone 6s Plus devices, which should fill most of the same requirements. It's worth noting that Apple has an app specifically for transferring data from an Android device to the iPhone.

Remember, your carrier or other supplier is a lot more interested in keeping you on as a customer than they are in making your company suffer through a long period with potentially risky devices. This is the time to make that point with them.

For future device acquisitions, there are some ideas that are worth paying attention to. First, never buy a new device when it first comes out if it's going to be critical for your business. Second, make sure you test the devices thoroughly before you incorporate any new device into your daily operations.

Of course, everyone is going to want the latest, coolest device regardless of whether there's any immediate need for its capabilities, but that's not the same thing as what they need.

What your company needs is a reliable tool to help in the operation of your business. When that tool, in this case a smartphone, fails to deliver or, worse, can potentially injure employees or cause serious damage, then you don't need it in your company, regardless of how cool it is.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...