September 01, 2016 10:40
Numerous reports of Samsung's latest Galaxy Note 7 smartphone exploding while recharging have prompted the electronics giant to halt supplies of the device.
The smartphone hit stores on Aug. 19 and has been a runaway success with some 400,000 pre-orders alone.
The first case was reported last Wednesday, when a user posted a photograph of the burnt device on an online discussion forum. On Monday, a user in the U.S. posted a video of their exploded Galaxy Note 7 on YouTube, and this week there were six more purported explosions around the world.
Samsung has gotten hold of some of the devices that exploded and is investigating the cause.
A common feature in the photos is that the left side of the device appears scorched by fire, which is where the battery sits. The users all report that the device spontaneously burst into flames either during recharging or when the jack was removed.
One theory is that the battery itself is defective. The introduction of contaminants during manufacture could damage the thin membrane separating the anode and cathode, leading to combustion. The second is something going wrong during recharging process. If the rechargeable battery has problems, smart devices automatically shut down, but there is a possibility that this function failed to activate.
One staffer at a battery manufacturer said, "The rapid recharging function of the Galaxy Note 7 generates more heat than conventional recharging and puts a lot of strain on the battery."
Samsung declined to speculate.
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