The expression ‘a perfect storm’ was the maybe the best description for Samsung’s situation last month, but it just got a whole lot worse as a Galaxy Note 7 replacement device just overheated and began emitting smoke on a Southwest flight in Louisville causing an evacuation while still at the gate.
September was more than a tough month for Samsung as Apple released its iPhone 7 and with Google Pixel rumors abound. Add to that the backdrop of Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s erratically exploding, causing injury to people, destroying vehicles and burning hotel rooms. If you have taken a flight in the last month, you will have heard the airline strict policies on the original Note 7.
The global recalls began mid-September and should have fixed the issue, though the owner of the smoking device told Reuters that their device was in-fact the replacement Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung has since said it needed more information before it could comment further: “Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note 7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device, we will have more information to share.”
The Verge, however has run the device’s unique IMIE through Samsung’s recall eligibility checker which returns a “Great News!” message saying that this Galaxy Note 7 is not affected by the recall.
Brian Green, the phone’s owner reported that he had powered down the phone as requested by the flight crew and put it in his pocket when it began smoking. He dropped it on the floor of the plane and a “thick grey-green angry smoke” was pouring out of the device.
Following the evacuation of the plane, Green’s colleague went back onto the plane to retrieve some personal belongings and said that the phone had burned through the carpet and scorched the subfloor of the plane. The phone was at around 80 percent of battery capacity when the incident occurred.
The ramifications of this incident are staggering for Samsung. Green has since replaced the phone with an iPhone 7, and that should be an indicator as to what most, if not all, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 users will do in coming days.
The impressive Google Pixel phones add fuel to Samsung’s fire as an easy jump to a decidedly superior device while staying within the Android ecosystem.
The smoking Note 7 is currently in the hands of the Louisville Fire Department’s arson unit for investigation and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is opening an investigation into the incident.