Mobility

Batteries to blame for exploding Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones

The results of an internal investigation into Samsung's Galaxy Note7 are expected to be announced January 23, but a Reuter's report claims the battery is the cause of all the phone's problems.

note7.jpg
Image: CNET

As the Samsung Galaxy Note7 debacle finally comes to a close, Samsung will officially announce the results of its investigations into the smartphone fires on January 23. However, a recent Reuters report, citing "a person familiar with the matter," claims that the phone's battery was the chief source of its problems.

The battery claim is not a groundbreaking revelation, as Samsung's DK Koh said back in September that the battery was the probable culprit. Still, the official results could help quickly end the Galaxy Note7 fiasco and clear the way for Samsung to move forward with its next big mobile release.

Samsung has been conducting internal tests for some time, and shared its finding with labs such as Korea Testing Laboratory and UL. The Korea Herald reported that the tech giant actually finished the investigations back in mid-December 2016.

SEE: More than 96% of Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones returned, FAA drops pre-flight speech

According to the Reuter's report, the January 23 announcement of the findings will come one day before the company reveals its earnings. Samsung may be wanting to clear the air, as the report noted that it is prepping for the launch of its Galaxy S8 smartphone later this year.

While some of the initial speculation seemed to point to an issue with different battery suppliers, the suppliers quickly pushed back, claiming they weren't to blame. Later on, a potential design flaw was discovered that could be the main reason the batteries were exploding.

After the Samsung Galaxy Note7 was launched in late 2016, it initially received positive reviews, especially among business users. However, reports of devices catching fire and exploding soon came in from around the world.

Numerous recalls were issued by both the company and the US government, and Samsung recently reported that 96% of the devices had been returned. And, while the Galaxy Note7 is still banned on flights, the FAA dropped the requirement for a pre-flight speech about the phone.

To combat similar problems with lithium-ion batteries, university researchers recently developed a new battery technology with, essentially, a built-in fire extinguisher. If the battery heats up, a capsule around flame retardant material would melt, releasing the material to prevent further combustion.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Samsung will officially announced the results of its Galaxy Note7 investigation on January 23, but a recent Reuters report claims the batteries are to blame for the phone's problems.
  2. It isn't clear whether the main issue was with the battery suppliers, or with a design flaw in how the battery was implemented.
  3. Samsung is likely trying to clear the air and make way for its next flagship release, the Galaxy S8.

Also see

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox