October 17, 2016 12:34
Samsung is knuckling down to find out why its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones are catching fire in a global disaster for the company.
Samsung has allocated hundreds of staff in the mobile communications division to search for the cause and turned to Swiss quality certification company SGS and other outside experts for help.
Samsung now seems to accept that consumer confidence in the whole Galaxy range of phones rests on finding out what exactly caused the fires.
After the initial reports the company announced a recall based on the hasty conclusion that some Korean-made batteries were at fault, but replacements also caught fire.
Now Samsung is investigating the Note 7's entire manufacturing process as well as how users typically handle the device, to see if uploading video, photos or other content may have affected the battery.
If the investigation drags on, Samsung staff fear that the release of the Galaxy S8 smartphone scheduled for early 2017 may have to be aborted.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration completely banned Note 7s aboard airplanes on Saturday. Before then they could be kept in checked luggage, but recent reports suggest they caught fire even when switched off.
Samsung is handing out alternative phones to Note 7 owners traveling abroad from major international airports in Korea.
According to Samsung, there are 1.9 million Note 7 smartphones in circulation that have yet to be turned in.
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