The Galaxy Note 7 looked initially like a winning product for Samsung. The latest in an already extremely successful line of flagship products, it boasts a clean and pretty design, great specs and addresses some of the concerns raised over it’s predecessor the Galaxy Note 5. Initial press reviews were very positive and Samsung had already posted their best quarterly financial results for two years, largely as a result of the popularity of the smaller Galaxy S7.
Then reports started to come in about exploding batteries, subsequently leading to Samsung recalling units internationally, reportedly about 2.5 million of them. The issue is said to be in the battery cell itself and unrelated to the rest of the phone unit. Samsung SDI is the affiliated company responsible for producing the majority of the batteries used in the Galaxy Note 7, with a smaller amount produced by a second company.
Earlier this year, Samsung brought forward the release of the Galaxy S7 in a move possibly aimed at getting to market ahead of the LG G5 flagship phone. With the Apple iPhone 7 due for release shortly, speculation is that Samsung were again aiming to release their flagship unit ahead of a key competitor. Bringing a planned release date forward would put pressure on the supply chain for the product though, with quality control checks likely to be one aspect to be affected. Even as the advancement of smartphone technology has slowed somewhat, new features and capabilities are still extremely sought after and the timing of a new release, along with the associated marketing strategy, can be critical to the success of a new model. Estimates vary over the financial impact to Samsung, and they haven’t yet announced a date when the Galaxy Note 7 will be re-released for sale. In the longer-term though, the way they deal with the recall and address the quality issues will have a greater impact on the strength of it's brand. The Galaxy Note 7 is still an outstanding product aside from the battery issues, but it remains to be seen how many customers will choose to wait for it to be re-released before looking for an alternative.