Skip to main content

How Does Samsung Deal With Battery Fire Hysteria?

galaxy-note7

The Note 7 battery saga has played out badly for Samsung. Not especially with owners, as those I know are almost universally happy about the way that Samsung has handled the recall and made efforts to limit the impact it has had on their phone usage.

However the Note 7 problems, added to recent stories claiming battery fires from a wide variety of other Samsung phones has to be hurting the company’s reputation. That these older phones don’t have faulty batteries and older Lithium Ion cells are naturally more likely to ignite – especially if they have suffered an impact – has been mostly been bypassed in the rush to hype the story in the media.

Yes, any phone’s battery will ignite if mistreated or damaged. That’s a fact of life resulting from the need to pack as much energy density into a small package to satisfy the needs of modern smartphones. Search on Google and you can find stories of burning phones going back years and affecting all manufacturers.

The Note 7 is different though. The faulty battery packs ignite as a result of poor manufacturing process not age or damage. Which is why Samsung has had to recall the whole batch of 2.5 million devices.

Such a high-profile problem is necessarily going to hurt Samsung’s reputation and future sales. A fact that the stock markets have recognised and as a result the company’s market cap dropped by nearly $30bn.

How can Samsung prevent things getting worse and persuade customers to continue buying its devices in the future? How can it prevent the recall tarnishing the premium reputation it has painstakingly built for itself in the last few years?

Handling the recall well is a start. Note 7 owners are being given a loan phone to tide them over until their replacement Note 7 arrives. Here in NZ I know that several different models have been offered, depending upon the purchasing route, but the Note 5 and S7 Edge seem to be popular loaners.

Getting replacement phones to customers quickly will also help. Demonstrating that it is big enough to cope with a recall of this scale may lessen some of the brand damage done. Lastly Samsung needs to provide customers with some form of compensation – a gift that acknowledges the inconvenience suffered. Personally I’d suggest providing customers with a choice of accessories that they may have been considering purchasing anyway. A wireless charging pad, a case, maybe an external battery pack if that isn’t too ironic. In markets where the Gear VR headset hasn’t been bundled with the phone that would be a good option.

Ultimately there will be those who think less of Samsung as a result of these battery problems, and Samsung will never change their minds. Samsung needs to focus its efforts on the two other groups of customers whose opinions it can influence: Note 7 buyers and anyone else who might consider a Samsung phone.

Keeping them happy and positive about the brand is of key importance right now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.