Top of Mind Thursday October 13, 2016: Too Hot to Handle

Top of Mind Thursday

This week, Samsung announced they will be permanently discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 product.

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The Note 7, which was recalled last month, has shown a propensity to burst into flames while being charged. The company issued replacement units, but those have had similar fire danger problems. In one case, a smoking Note 7 caused Southwest Airlines to evacuate a flight shortly before takeoff.

It’s estimated that the number of smartphones in existence globally this year will reach more than 2 billion. It’s one thing to add cool bells and whistles to these devices, but users expect a basic level of safety that presumes the phone isn’t going to spontaneously combust.

The big winner in this situation is likely to be Apple. As a Note 7 user, would you trust another Samsung device right away? Possibly not.

The problem has already cut more than $2B off this quarter’s earnings.It’s too soon to determine how badly the Samsung brand will be scorched.

Let this be a lesson to other companies: When you cut corners on safety testing, you’re likely to be burned badly.

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