This summer's Samsung flagship device, the Galaxy Note 7, turned out to be something of a commercial disaster for Samsung. The new device is reckoned to have been too aggressively designed, resulting in a flaw in the battery, which caused the components to mix. This ultimately meant that the devices were unsafe as the battery electrodes could mix, resulting in a thermal runaway reaction: in other words, the devices could explode or catch fire. Samsung originally recalled the Galaxy Note 7 device to replace all models with a new one, but the replacement also had the same problem hinting that perhaps Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7 out in order to release the device ahead of the Apple iPhone 7 launch. Whatever the reason, Samsung recalled all 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, giving it something of a recycling headache, and set about compensating consumers through promises of an early upgrade to the next Samsung Galaxy flagship, the Galaxy S8 device due in early 2017.
However, some consumers are not happy with Samsung's resolution: after all, the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note families are related but not identical, with the Galaxy Note range coming with additional features over and above the Galaxy S, most notably driven by Samsung's S Pen. And some of these unhappy consumers are not satisfied with Samsung's compensation for their inconvenience at not having the Galaxy Note 7 device and are suing Samsung for 500,000 won, around $450. This cost includes the expense of having to visit after-sale counters and for being nervous about the device exploding. However, the source article explains that Samsung, according to industry sources, has appointed a legal representative and written to the Seoul Central District Court to explain that the Galaxy Note 7 devices "have no common defect" and that its recall has been appropriate.
Samsung's front that the Galaxy Note 7 devices not having a common defect is an interesting statement for the company to make, given that after being unable to resolve the battery issue it recalled all devices. It seems like the company does not wish to admit that the Galaxy Note 7 has a design or manufacturing flaw, and whilst there are some people who only wanted the Galaxy Note 7 and would not be happy with either the current or next generation Galaxy S smartphone, it is difficult to see how Samsung could put people right especially if the company will not be releasing a new generation Galaxy Note 8 device later next year. The company needs to tread carefully if it is to avoid isolating a small cache of customers, around 2,400 at the moment, although given that this is a small proportion of the 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 sales, it is perhaps no surprise that the company has hardened its approach. However, for the time being we expect that Samsung and these unhappy consumers will be exchanging letters for the time being before the case is heard at court.