Samsung has a little tiny $1 billion problem on its hands. In case you haven’t heard, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone — which would otherwise be the most impressive phablet the world has ever seen — has a tendency to explode. A seemingly small number of the 2.5 million or so Galaxy Note 7 handsets that were built have problems with the battery. This problem, unfortunately, is a huge one that can cause the phones to explode while they’re charging. We’ve seen these Note 7 explosions destroy cars and even burn down a house, and Samsung had no choice but to issue a global recall as a result.
Well guess what: A new report now claims that Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 problem is actually kinda sorta Apple’s fault.
According to a new report from Bloomberg that cites multiple anonymous sources, Samsung saw the leaks and rumors leading up to Apple’s recent iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch, and it identified an opening. All of the chatter ahead of Apple’s new iPhone launch suggested that this year’s new iPhone lineup was going to be boring and dull. As a result, Samsung thought it could rush out the new Galaxy Note 7 and steal Apple’s thunder with a gorgeous design and some hot new features like a built-in iris scanner.
Earlier this year, managers at the South Korean company began hearing the next iPhone wouldn’t have any eye-popping innovations. The device would look just like the previous two models too. It sounded like a potential opening for Samsung to leap ahead.
So the top brass at Samsung Electronics Co., including phone chief D.J. Koh, decided to accelerate the launch of a new phone they were confident would dazzle consumers and capitalize on the opportunity, according to people familiar with the matter. They pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new features, another person with direct knowledge said. The Note 7 would have a high-resolution screen that wraps around the edges, iris-recognition security and a more powerful, faster-charging battery. Apple’s taunts that Samsung was a copycat would be silenced for good.
All that rushing, according to the report, resulted in some quality control missteps that would ultimately lead to the debacle the company is in now. In fact, according to the report, some Samsung employees are internally calling the Note 7 recall “humiliating,” and analysts have suggested that the company’s image could be tarnished for quite some time.
If you currently have a Galaxy Note 7, this post will tell you how to exchange it for a new model, a different Samsung phone, or a refund.