No, not the one you’re thinking of
“For one Samsung phablet to have battery trouble may be regarded be a misfortune,” Oscar Wilde didn’t say for myriad reasons. “For two to have battery trouble looks like carelessness,” he didn’t add. Samsung got into all kinds of hot water last year when the Note 7 handset proved a touch more flammable than is typically seen as ideal for something you keep in your pocket, eventually leading the phone being recalled and abandoned. Now Samsung has more Note-shaped battery trouble, but fortunately it’s nothing to do with the upcoming Galaxy Note 8. It’s also not Samsung’s fault.
The culprit this time is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Yes, the same Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that was one of the best phones of 2014. In the US, the consumer product-safety commission has issued a recall on some Note 4 batteries which have a tendency to overheat, potentially causing burns and fire hazards. It’s like Groundhog Day in reverse.
The world has moved on quite a bit from 2014, so why is a phone from three years ago suddenly making headlines? The answer is that this has very little to do with Samsung: the handsets in question are limited to refurbished Note 4 phones distributed by FedEx Supply Chain as part of AT&T’s insurance programme. This was managed independently of Samsung, who told CNET that some of the affected batteries appear to be counterfeit.
“FedEx Supply Chain has recalled a batch of lithium batteries that were installed in mobile devices,” a statement from Samsung reads, “As some of the batteries may be counterfeit. We are closely engaged with our customer to make sure all of these lithium batteries are safely and quickly returned, and will replace those lithium batteries free of charge for consumers.”
The scale is far smaller than the Note 7 debacle (only around 10,200 batteries are impacted), but if I were a Samsung executive I’d still be fuming about this. The last thing the company needs are the words “Galaxy Note” and “fire hazard” to be in the same sentence when it’s so close to releasing the Note 8.
Images: Kārlis Dambrāns and Honou used under Creative Commons
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