New Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has an explosive start

Rumour has it the new flagship phablet from Samsung has a dodgy battery. Early reports on social media from Korea feature terrible images of burned units fresh out of the box. Samsung was quick to say only about 0.1% of the devices were affected but out of 7 million already sold, that’s an embarrassment they could have done without.

That's going to hurt

That’s going to hurt

The latest news is that they are going to issue a recall of all Galaxy Note 7s. This will be a massive blow to the mighty Korean electronics firm that has been banking on the Note 7 to stop the decline in profits of the last couple of years.

I haven’t played with it but cannot escape the relentless advertising across all media channels. With USB Type C charging (said to be the root of the problem), waterproofing and a futuristic iris scanner that uses your eye to unlock the phone, this was considered a real threat to Apple’s dominance.

With a new iPhone due to be released next week, it will be interesting to see how Samsung manages the fallout and whether it can continue to stay in touch with Apple. I expect Samsung to be very transparent and decisive about the whole issue. The recall suggests that’s the case. It’ll also take more marketing dollars, a lot of grovelling and lots of freebies to those affected.

Harder to win over maybe those who were considering switching from Apple to other devices. A category I include myself in. It just maybe that the winner will actually be Huawei. Huawei has seen a 40% spike in smartphone revenue and now has 9% of the smartphone market. To overtake Samsung, it’ll need to sell about 10 million more handsets. That’s a challenge but dodgy batteries and weak quality control at Samsung will help its cause.

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