Exploding phones is just not leaving Samsung and its phones alone. After the Note 7 fiasco, a new incident of a Samsung phone going in flames has been reported, but it appears, this time, it’s not Samsung’s fault.
According to a report from Channel News Asia, a Samsung phone in the left breast pocket of an Indonesian man, 47-year-old Yulianto, exploded. Following the incident, the man is seen falling on the ground, and then rips his shirt off. The phone this time is not the Note 7, but rather the Samsung Grand Duos, which launched in 2013.
“There was a strong sensation of heat and I felt something start to shake,” Yulianto told The Daily Mail. “Before I knew what was happening there was fire and I panicked. I took off my shirt as quickly as I could.”
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This whole incident, which happened at a hotel where the man works, was caught on CCTV. According to the local police, the man suffered minor burns. Yulianto said he never experienced any problem with the phone before. The combustion could have been the result of Yulianto using Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi concurrently, the police said. Previously also, there have not been any reports of Grand Duos exploding. Police are still investigating the incident.
Samsung, however, says it is not at fault this time. According to the Korean firm, the handset in question had a third-party component as the battery in the handset was not manufactured by Samsung, or by any Samsung authorized manufacturer. “We sincerely wish for our customer’s swift recovery, and strongly recommend all our consumers to use Samsung’s genuine or approved batteries that have been specifically designed for use in Samsung products,” Samsung told CNET.
The explosion in a Samsung phone underlines how dangerous the gadgets could be. Use of third-party batteries and other components is pretty common in developing countries as they are more affordable. For Samsung, which has still to fully recover from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, this new explosion, even though it is not at fault, could further dent its image after the Note 7 saga.
The Samsung Note 7 debacle was clearly its biggest ever brand crisis. The massive recall cost the company about $5 billion in losses and lost sales. However, a year later, the Korean firm is well on the path of recovery. In the marketing consulting group Interbrand’s 2107 Best Global Brands list, the company has now moved up to the sixth position from seventh. Despite the crisis, the Korean firm witnessed a rise of 9% in the brand valuation. Financially also the company is doing well with profits rising and the new Galaxy 8 selling well.
For the latest quarter, Samsung reported a record operating profit of $14.07 trillion won ($12.6 billion). Samsung’s mobile division reported a rise in sales, but the profits were down marginally, which Samsung pins to the higher component costs. Going forward, the company expects the growth to continue “thanks to the stable supply of 10nm mobile processors and increased supply of OLED DDIs for flagship smartphones,” the Korean firm said in a press release.
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