Sam­sung: Have ‘ex­plod­ing’ Gal­axy Note 7s burned the brand?

Malta Independent - - TECHNOLOGY -

Sam­sung is re­sum­ing sales of its Gal­axy Note 7 smart­phones in South Korea fol­low­ing a safety re­call. They are set to re­turn to Europe on 28 Oc­to­ber.

The com­pany asked cus­tomers to re­turn their hand­sets af­ter some users re­ported their phone had “ex­ploded” dur­ing or af­ter charg­ing.

The firm said that bat­tery prob­lems were be­hind phones catch­ing fire.

Sam­sung had sold about 2.5 mil­lion Gal­axy Note 7 de­vices across the world be­fore the re­call.

In South Korea about 80% of those sold have been re­turned to be re­placed.

In Europe and North Amer­ica the fig­ure is lower but still way above 50%, ac­cord­ing to com­pany sources.

Sam­sung in­sid­ers say that 95% of the peo­ple re­turn­ing their hand­set are opt­ing to con­tinue with a Sam­sung model. There is - they say - huge cus­tomer loy­alty.

But there has clearly been a big cost, one on which a mon­e­tary value is im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine ex­actly.

Firstly, Sam­sung has lost a month of its care­fully planned sales pitch in the cam­paign against Ap­ple and its new iPhone 7.

Sec­ondly, the brand has been tar­nished. Sam­sung has prided it­self on mak­ing the most of its com­po­nents. It doesn’t out­source as much as its ri­vals do.

That boast of su­pe­rior qual­ity sounds hol­lower af­ter the re­call.

Thirdly, even if most of the of­fend­ing phones have been re­turned and re­placed, sub­stan­tial num­bers are still out there.

Air­lines have pre­sented pas­sen­gers with a warn­ing no­tice on check-in, say­ing the Gal­axy Note 7 should not be checked in or switched on in the cabin even in flight-mode.

Will the air­lines now lift the ban?

In the cru­cial Chi­nese mar­ket, the iPhone has a huge ca­chet. Sam­sung has been squeezed be­tween Ap­ple’s of­fer­ings and Chi­nese phones.

Bat­ter­ies that might catch fire won’t have helped it in that com­pe­ti­tion.

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