Samsung to Reduce Capacity of ’Note 7’ Batteries After Product Recall

Just a few days ago, The New York Times reported that a young boy had burned his hand when his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his hands. At this point, the device was already in the midst of a recall. It does demonstrate that the Note 7 is inherently unstable as a device. It is worth noting that Android Central are claiming that this story is not as real as some people may believe, but there is other evidence out there which does involve Note 7s, even if you ignore this story.

What caused the explosions?

Lithium-Ion batteries are high capacity. They also work incredibly well. They are just unstable. If treated correctly, then there should never be any issues. However, it is believed that Samsung has some issue in their charging process. According to NDTV,  a manufacturing process error is to blame. In 35 reported cases, the anode and the cathode on the battery managed to touch. This caused the issue. However, it is worth noting that this is a very rare issue. It is not present in the vast majority of Samsung Note 7 devices that have been sold. The company is recalling them as a precautionary measure.

Product Recall

Samsung have put plans in place to recall Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices that have been sold around the world. Users can return to the place of purchase. They will then be issued a new unit ‘free of charge’. The process should be smooth for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 users and many people have taken advantage of this system. There are, however, a few people who have yet to take their device in for replacement. Samsung, in South Korea, is planning to launch an update on the 20th September, the day after replacement devices will be issued, to encourage the rest of the owners to return their phones to the point of purchase.

Forced Updated on Impacted Devices

According to the BBC, Samsung will launch a device update on the 20th September in South Korea. It is unknown whether this update will hit devices outside of the country, although it does seem likely. This update is designed to ‘force’ non-updated phones to have a maximum battery capacity of 60%. This is believed to be Samsung’s way of forcing the hand of those who have yet to return their device, perhaps as a way in which they can limit potential lawsuits.

Industry analysts who spoke to the BBC claim that this is going to have a huge impact on Samsung’s marketability in the future, with many other smartphone manufacturers likely to use this particular update as ammunition in their future advertising. Chris Jones, an industry expert, had this to say:

“Keeping the battery at 60% or less and an over-the-air update to resolve a hardware problem will not be acceptable to the majority of users, and Samsung’s competitors can have a field day with this in device battery life comparisons,”

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