The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year, especially given all the leaks and rumors hyping the handset’s unique features ahead of the official unveiling. But then the smartphone was released and caused a PR nightmare for Samsung due to faulty components leading to exploding units, and while the South Korean company seems to have done everything in its power in order to make the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 a viable and safe choice for consumers, the handset was officially discontinued yesterday, less than two months after it first hit the shelves. It’s a sad state of affairs for Samsung and Galaxy Note fans alike, but what is done is done and all we can do now is take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s brief and tumultuous history on the market.
The official story of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 began on August 2nd when the manufacturer took the veil off the flagship in New York City during an earlier-than-usual yearly Unpacked event. It was the sequel to last year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and indeed the newest smartphone in the series skipped a digit in order to fall in line with the Samsung Galaxy S7 series released earlier in the year. On August 19 and three days after the first Galaxy Note 7 reviews went live on the Internet, the smartphone became available for purchase in North America for the price of ~$800. Demand was promising and Samsung managed to sell roughly 200,000 units in only two days of availability. However, things have started going south less than two weeks after the smartphones was released on the market when multiple reports of Galaxy Note 7 units catching fire have reached the headlines. On August 31, Samsung reportedly halts shipments of the smartphone, and on September 1st the company confirms that it has begun a thorough inspection of the device in order to determine the cause of the issues. One day later – September 2 – Samsung issues a recall of all the 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units sold to date, and announces the details of its replacement program in the U.S.
A week after the recall was issued – September 8 – the FAA advises passengers against flying with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 “in light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices”. This seemed like a massive inconvenience for any Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owner who travels via airlines, but future events prove that it was the right call. On September 9, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that it is looking into the effectiveness of Samsung’s exchange program, “working quickly to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is an acceptable remedy for Samsung”. Then, 6 days later on September 15, the CPSC officially recalls the Galaxy Note 7 “urging all consumers to take advantage of this recall right away”.
As replacement units are prepared for consumers, things start to look better for Samsung. On September 20, replacement Galaxy Note 7 units become available in stores, and on the 22nd of the month, Samsung reveals that roughly 50% of all the Galaxy Note 7 units in the U.S. have been replaced. Sadly, however, Samsung’s efforts to replace the faulty Samsung Galaxy Note 7 units haven’t paid off, and on October 5, the first report of a replacement Galaxy Note 7 exploding emerges, and worse still, this time around the incident has happened on an airplane. The CPSC begins a new investigation, and U.S. carriers start offering exchange units for the phablet. By October 8, reports reveal that several other replacement units have caught on fire, and then major carriers stop selling the device. Two days later – October 10 – Samsung officially asks retail partners to halt Galaxy Note 7 sales, and on October 11 the company decides to pull the plug for good. “Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.” It’s been a short ride for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and it truly is a sad state of affairs for Android enthusiasts, fans of the brand, and the Korean tech giant itself. There’s no way to be sure what Samsung will plan next for its Galaxy Note lineup, but following this series of events the “Note” brand may have been damaged for good.