Samsung’s Desire to Beat Apple Resulted in Rushed Quality Control

Samsung’s effort to beat Apple with an earlier Galaxy Note launch turned out to be profitable last year, as the South Korean giant was able to release the Note and S series roughly a month ahead of the iPhone. This year that scenario didn’t work out, because tight deadlines and loosened quality control caused the battery issue the blogosphere is loud about these days and prompted Samsung to recall the Note 7 in 10 markets (via Reuters).


Samsung found that the batteries included with the Note 7 were prone to ignite and hence stopped sales of the handset while it conducts extensive preparation for its products. Samsung says it will release them to the market “only after proper completion of the development process”.

The company said it has identified a problem in the manufacturing process of an unnamed battery supplier. Fact is, multiple reports of Note 7 handsets catching fire or exploding have surfaced since the smartphone was launched, and the latest comes from Australia, where the faulty unit caused roughly $1,380 worth of damage in a hotel in Perth.

Samsung didn’t name the battery supplier, but it is believed that Samsung SDI is responsible for about 70% of battery orders, while the remainder is handled by China’s ATL. The Korea Economic Daily has knowledge of Samsung terminating the use of Samsung-SDI-produced batteries, which allegedly were the root cause of the fire incidents.

Samsung SDI is currently listed on Apple’s supplier list for 2016, but there is no information as to whether it will supply batteries for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

When asked about its battery suppliers, an Apple spokeswoman said Tuesday: “We do not use the same battery cell type as the recalled Samsung Note 7. And all of our products exceed the highest quality standards and are unaffected by this defect.” (via WSJ)

Apple is no exception when it comes to fire reports. There were also reports of iPhones catching fire, but thanks to Apple’s tight security control such incidents have been pretty rare during the past few years.

The tight product release schedule that Samsung has implemented as part of its effort to overturn falling handset sales, on the other hand, apparently heavily affected its quality control, which eventually resulted in this massive recall. Analysts predict the cost to the company will amount to nearly $5 billion this year.

Image credit: crushader

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