Samsung Recalls All Galaxy Note 7 Phones Due to Severe Burn Hazard
After numerous reports of phones catching fire, resulting in damage to homes and cars, Samsung is recalling all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones due to what the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) called "serious fire and burn hazards."
Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of people receiving burns and 55 reports of property damage. The devices' tendency to immolate was so severe that multiple airlines and airports posted warnings about taking them onto airplanes.
The cause of the problem is the device's lithium ion batteries. The batteries can overheat and catch fire, similar to hoverboards, which also were the subject of a sweeping recall.
This affects the promotional products industry in a few ways. One, being the most obvious reason, is that distributors looking to sell cases and accessories for this new smartphone will have to wait until Samsung works out the kinks and the phones hit the market once again.
The other connection is the use of lithium ion batteries. It's important to look at why these specific batteries have been overheating and catching fire. And it's not the fault of lithium ion batteries as a whole, it's the device's thin size and construction.
CNET reported that the phone's construction included a manufacturing error that "placed pressure on plates contained within battery cells," which forced positive and negative poles to touch.
Here's a pretty easy-to-understand description from CNET:
The thin plastic layer that separates the positive and negative sides of the battery got punctured, became the shortest route for the electricity to zap across the battery (that's why they call it a 'short-circuit'), and became a huge fire risk.
The battery is made by packing together the stack of battery components to make it as powerful as it can be while remaining as compact as possible.
So now, Samsung plans on sourcing the batteries from a different supplier for the replacement phones. You can see a video from Samsung president and chief operating officer Tim Baxter here.