Samsung has been struggling for sometime now, from slowing markets to under-performing flagships. The latest Note 7 showed some hope, and many believed that the device may go down in history as the one that helped resurrect the company. However, it may very well go down in history, but for other reasons. The last thing the company expected was the device to explode and hurt its loyal users across the world. After about 35 incidents of the Note 7 exploding into flames, the company announced a total recall. Here’s a timeline of the events from the time the device was launched, warnings issued and big price of $1 billion and the recall of devices.
2 August, 2016
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 at the high profile Unpacked event. The highlight of the device was the dual curved display, iris scanner and that it was water resistant, including the S Pen.
3 August, 2016
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was made available for pre-order in the US.
11 August, 2016
The Galaxy Note 7 was launched in India at Rs 59,900.
19 August, 2016
The device went on sale in the US, both via online and offline channels.
25 August, 2016
The first incident of the Galaxy Note 7 explosion came to light. The device caught fire and exploded while on charging. The incident took place in China.
29 August, 2016
The Galaxy Note 7 was officially launched in China. But, some were disappointed to see only the 4GB variant, while the 6GB variant was given a miss.
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2, September, 2016
By now, there were about 35 reported cases. Samsung acknowledged the problem, and announced a recall program. The company blamed the affected batteries. It said to have started conducting a thorough inspection with suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, the company said it didn’t want to take any chances, and stopped sales of the device to immediate effect. The company also announced that all devices would be replaced. Sales stopped in China.
5 September, 2016
Samsung Electronics Australia advises all customers who use a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to power down their device, return it to its place of purchase and use an alternative device until a remedy can be provided.
Soon there were reports claiming how it’s the largest recall in the history.
7 September, 2016
An Australian man was left with burns when his Samsung smartphone “exploded” as he slept in his hotel room. Tham Hua, from Victoria state who was visiting Western Australia, said his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 exploded in his hotel room, bursting into flames. By now, it was believed that Samsung is recalling and replacing up to 2.5 million Note 7 devices, with nearly $1 billion dollar cost to the company. And, soon there were reports that the device was being banned US flights.
8 September, 2016
Three Australian airlines banned passengers from using or charging Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights due to concerns over the phone’s fire-prone batteries. Qantas, its budget unit Jetstar and Virgin Australia said they had not been directed to ban the use of the phone by aviation authorities, but did so as a precaution following Samsung’s recall of the phones in 10 markets.
9 September, 2016
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission released an official statement warning users about the defective Galaxy Note 7 Lithium-Ion batteries and how dangerous they can be.
On the same day, Samsung also penned down in a blog post, urging users to power down their Galaxy Note 7 and exchange them as soon as possible. The company said they are expediting replacement devices so that they can be provided through the exchange program as conveniently as possible and in compliance with related regulations. Samsung took to explaining what’s causing the issue.
US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned the use of galaxy Note 7s in flights. Hours after the announcement, DGCA issued a warning and banned the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights.
“In light of the recent incidents involving battery incidents with Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices globally, traveling public and airlines are advised not to switch on these mobiles during the flight or stow them in any checked in baggage,” issued DGCA order read.
10 September, 2016
Samsung Electronics started urging users of its Galaxy Note 7 phones to turn in their handsets as soon as possible as part of a recall.
11 September, 2016
Another incident, and this time, a 6-year old boy in New York had to be rushed to the hospital as the device exploded in his hands.
12 September, 2016
Reports claimed Samsung Electronics will only use batteries made by China’s ATL for its replacement devices. The Chinese company is set to become the sole battery supplier for Samsung by shipments for the time being since the company stopped receiving batteries from its main provider and has not found a third supplier. Reportedly, Samsung used to get 70 percent of its batteries from its subsidiary while 30 percent was from ATL for Galaxy Note 7 devices.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s shares fell to their lowest level in nearly two months after the recall announcement. More airlines across the world banned customers from carrying the devices.
13 September, 2016
Meanwhile, Samsung has planned to push an OTA that will limit Note 7 charging to 60 percent. A South Korean newspaper, carried a Samsung advertisement announcing the software update for any users of the Note 7 who may be disregarding its recall notice and continuing to use the smartphone.
14 September, 2016
In another incident, a car caught fire and the driver alleged that the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caused for the havoc. Samsung Australia has confirmed that it will start shipping Galaxy Note 7 replacements by 21 September. It will apparently come with an updated white barcode sticker with a blue ‘S’ on the packaging.
15 September, 2016
US officially recalls Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The replacements are said to begin no later than 21 September. The new units will come with a green battery level icon to indicate they’ve been replaced.
Meanwhile, there were other reports confirming the new devices will start shipping from 21 September.
Finally, Samsung America President & COO Tim Baxter put out a video message apologising to Samsung fans, promising that Samsung will work hard to earn back the trust and officially announced that the new devices will be available no later than 21 September, among other things. Watch the video here.
16 September, 2016
Just a day after the announcement, a news report about a lawsuit surfaced. Samsung Electronics was sued by a Florida man who said he suffered severe burns after his Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploded in his front pants pocket.
Unfortunately, the whole event is a big setback for Samsung, especially considering the timing was so close to the iPhone 7 launch. However, it is yet to be seen how the company plans to successfully rollout the recall. After all, it’s not just about the money, the company’s long-standing reputation is at stake.