After several months of investigation on why Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 units kept catching fire, the South Korean-headquartered electronics giant finally released its official findings. And just like what many people have already speculated, batteries are to be blamed.
However, there are varying causes since not all batteries used in the Galaxy Note 7 units were of the same build. According to USA Today, Samsung revealed that the spontaneous explosions were caused by "design and manufacturing flaws."
The company released the result of their probe during a press conference last Sunday in Seoul, South Korea.
As explained in a report by CNet, Samsung had two different battery suppliers for the Galaxy Note 7. Added to that, the battery packs were custom-made for the device with specific attributes such as voltage and physical size. "If you open up Battery A and Battery B, they're different batteries," says Justin Denison, the head of product strategy and marketing for Samsung's U.S. office.
Technically, Battery A's flaws were different from Battery B's shortcomings.
In the probe, Samsung discovered that Battery A's problem lies on its design - something which made the battery pack short-circuit. The outer casing designed by the supplier for Battery A was not big enough to accommodate the size of the battery as it expands and contracts when charging or during other normal battery activities.
For Battery B, on the other hand, the problem lies on its manufacturing and quality assessment. At first, Battery B's supplier had no problem. However, the flaws kicked in when Samsung decided that the Battery B supplier was going to be their lone provider since the demand for the unit had greatly increased, correspondingly.
According to the same CNet report, Battery B's short-circuit was caused by some protrusions that remained after the ultrasonic welding process. These might have been overlooked before the batteries were installed in the Galaxy Note 7 units.
The Galaxy S8 is expected to be launched this spring, but according to a report from Reuters, it could be delayed after Samsung promised to follow a more stringent product safety policy.
As people might recall, the Galaxy Note 7 went on sale in August 2016 and quickly gained positive reviews. However, shortly after launch, a lot of owners reported overheating problems. The number of complaints were so overwhelming that Samsung was obliged to announce the first product recall in September.
After a few weeks, Samsung started giving customers new units with different battery packs. However, that did not seem to fix anything. In October, Samsung announced the second global product recall and completely stopped the production of the Galaxy Note 7.