It makes perfect sense that Samsung would like nothing more than to put the whole Galaxy Note 7 battery problem behind it, but this quite simply is easier said than done. When people have it in their head that something that is always in your hand might explode or catch fire, well, that’s a serious problem. Quite simply, using your phone should not be equated to walking around with a hand grenade.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Image source: Samsung.com

Even “Safe” Galaxy Note 7s are causing battery problems?

If you’re reading this on this site, you’re likely up-to-date with the reason for the recall of around 2.5 million of Samsung’s flagship phablet. Shortly after the release of the Galaxy Note 7, a user reported to a skeptical public and media that his Galaxy Note 7 burst into flames while it was charging. “Mr. Ni 666666” on the Chinese forum Baidu shared numerous photos of the wreckage that was his handset and they were difficult to dispute. The one saving grace at the time, one that didn’t last long, was the fact that it was pretty clear that he was charging the phone with a third-party charger given the color of the cable displayed in the photos.

That moment of respite was short-lived as more and more users worldwide began releasing photos of similar events and their own stories. This led to many airlines banning the device and in a blink of an eye, Samsung had issued a worldwide recall of the Galaxy Note 7 that began with a company statement telling owners to immediately power down their devices.

Samsung’s original recall letter:

Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note 7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.

To date (as of September 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. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.

For customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.

We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.

But it looks like battery problems remain with the “safe” Galaxy Note 7s

Samsung recently announced that a million “safe” Galaxy Note 7s were in the hands of its customers, but that hasn’t made the issue go away by any means. In fact the company was recently called out by Chinese State-owned CCTV that called the South Korean company arrogant and accused it of a slower recall with fewer warnings than Americans and others were given and went so far as to accuse Samsung of discrimination.

Samsung maintains that this was due to Chinese units shipping with a different battery, a battery in fact that is being used in the phones being repleaced in the voluntary recall.

“Samsung Electronics said they wanted to be an enterprise that’s favored by the Chinese people, however it’s not easy for China to like them. Samsung also wants to be the enterprise that contributed to Chinese society, but contribution requires sincerity instead of arrogance,” CCTV wrote after the remarks were made.

“Samsung made it look like they are fixing their mistakes, but in fact they are hold double standards on the recall of its products. With a less than 200 words statement, Samsung excluded China from the markets where Note 7 would be recalled and replaced. Samsung’s discriminative policies have caused significant dissatisfaction among Chinese consumers.”

Samsung responds to Chinese complaints over Galaxy Note 7 recall

Knowing that China is the largest global smartphone market, Samsung was quick to apologize.

“Currently, the brand new Note 7 products that have been swapped in overseas markets are using identical batteries to those that were supplied and used for the Chinese version,” Samsung said.

“There have been a few reports about the battery charging levels and we would like to reassure everyone that the issue does not pose a safety concern,” continued the company on Wednesday “In normal conditions, all smartphones may experience temperature fluctuations.”

Either way, this recall will cost Samsung millions upon millions and will not be forgotten anytime soon, especially by the Chinese.