Speaking to Fortune in an interview published yesterday, Sprint’s CEO Marcelo Claure downplayed the importance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco which has been making headlines for several weeks now as Samsung has issued a recall and suspended sales of the device in the US. Claure confirmed that Sprint is currently in the process of replacing Galaxy Note 7 units but said the whole situation isn’t a big deal and that “six months from now, nobody will remember that there was a Note 7 recall.” Regardless of that, Sprint’s CEO admitted that the carrier is still having trouble with getting people to actually hand over their Galaxy Note 7 devices. As it turns out, most customers aren’t willing to do so and Sprint is trying whatever it can to reach out to them and convince them they’re in potential danger if they keep using the models with faulty batteries.
As of today, there have been close to 100 reports of Galaxy Note 7 batteries catching fire or exploding while charging in the US and industry experts are estimating that Samsung has shipped around 2.5 million units with faulty batteries before issuing a recall. Sprint is well-aware of that fact and has started reaching out to Galaxy Note 7 owners through text messages and direct calls but as Claure put it, “consumers have a way of going about their business” and perhaps don’t care about the potential danger as much as we ought to.
Regardless of that, Sprint’s CEO is convinced that the recall won’t do any long-term damage to the Samsung brand. When asked to explain his reasoning for this optimistic statement, Claure simply said that “stuff like this happens” and claimed that people have been having problems with new phones since phones came to the market. He believes that historical context is the only difference between past device recalls and this one as the information travels much faster today than it did in the past so issues like this are quickly reported on all over the world. Time will tell whether this optimistic prediction turns out to be correct or not but the fact remains that Samsung is set to lose a lot of revenue because of the faulty batteries manufactured by Samsung subsidiary Samsung SDI. So, consumers truly may not remember the Note 7 recall in half a year but Samsung probably will.