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Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7 problem in China might be bigger than we thought

Published Sep 21st, 2016 7:45AM EDT
Galaxy Note 7 Recall Safe Battery Explosions
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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A report earlier this week revealed that a safe Galaxy Note 7 unit exploded in China. Samsung took notice of the incident and posted an explanation on its website that said it wasn’t a faulty battery that caused the fire. Instead, external heat was responsible for the explosion. The Chinese company that manufactures safe batteries for the Galaxy Note 7 also said it wasn’t the battery cell that caused the explosion.

However, it appears that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 problems in China are bigger than we thought, as multiple explosions occurred in the past few days. A full product recall in the region isn’t in the works, but some models are being recalled.

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According to Forbes, several users in China posted online images of burnt Galaxy Note 7 units on Sunday and Monday. Apparently, the phones caught on fire, and some buyers visited Samsung retail stores asking for refunds.

Samsung issued an official explanation — that the battery tech isn’t responsible for the explosion. But that’s not the only thing the company did in China. The company also recalled 1,858 devices sold as testing phones from July 20th to August 5th. It’s unclear at this time why these test units are being recalled.

The company has no plans to recall the phones in China, which should all have safe batteries inside. The same batteries that power the Chinese Galaxy Note 7 units will also equip the replacement phones that are going to be available in the US starting today.

However, analysts think Samsung’s actions in China aren’t doing the company any favors. “The issue is edging Samsung toward a ‘trust crisis’ in China,” Canalys research director Nicole Peng said.“ People have doubts about the Samsung brand. Keep emphasizing on the battery supplier doesn’t help.”

Peng also said that it would be better for Samsung to start a full recall in the country instead of offering repeated but unclear explanations on the different battery suppliers. She also said that Samsung will continue to lose market share in the country, and will need two flagship product updates for consumers to regain confidence in the brand.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.