Samsung killed the Galaxy Note 7 earlier this week. Now the Korean company will have to figure out what to do with about four million devices it will receive from buyers. The Note 7 disaster has tarnished Samsung’s reputation, and may even take the entire Note line with it. Experts believe that Samsung should never bother releasing a Galaxy Note 8.
Why Galaxy Note 8 may not be a good idea
Kim Duk-jin of the Korea-Insight Institute told the Korea Herald that Samsung should drop the Note brand altogether. Given the damage done to the brand by Note 7 explosions and the consequent pullout, consumers will associate a Galaxy Note 8 with overheating, fires, and exploding batteries. The discontinuation of the Note 7 after repeated incidents of fire has cost Samsung about $2 billion.
The consumer perception of the Note 7 has changed significantly in the last couple of months. According to data from Konan Technology, negative perception of the device jumped from 34% in August to 53% in October in Samsung’s home country. Positive perception has declined from 62% to 42% in the same period. Many airports have banned passengers from carrying the Note 7 in flights, which hurt Samsung’s reputation worldwide.
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Samsung should disclose the causes of fire to customers
Even though Samsung may kill the Note line, the company will retain the Galaxy brand. Samsung has spent years building the premium Galaxy brand, which still has millions of loyal fans worldwide. Experts told the Korea Herald that, at this point, Samsung should try to find out what caused the Note 7 explosions and regain the trust of consumers. The company needs to honestly disclose the causes of fire to customers, said Lee Byung-tae, a professor at KAIST College of Business.
Citing Samsung’s regulatory filing, Bloomberg said an error in production caused batteries to be slightly larger than intended. It increased pressure on batteries when they were fitted inside the phones. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) simply said the batteries were too big for the Note 7. Experts believe that Samsung could have avoided killing the Note 7 had it used removable batteries in the phablet.
Will future Samsung devices have removable batteries?
Samsung seems to have learned a hard lesson: using removable batteries in the Note 7 could have saved it billions of dollars. Before the Galaxy S6 and Note 5, the Korean company used to allow customers to swap out batteries. But it had to move away from removable batteries in an attempt to pack more features inside sleeker devices. Samsung’s domestic rival LG Electronics offers removable batteries in its current flagship models.
Will the future Samsung phones – including the upcoming Galaxy S8 and possibly Galaxy Note 8 – feature removable batteries? The Korean company would not reveal its future designs, but it would be reviewing its plans for sure.