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Samsung Reportedly Acknowledges Galaxy S3 “Sudden Death” Issue, Has Fix Ready

galaxy s3 green flip cover

According to Tweakers.net, Samsung is reportedly aware of a “sudden death” issue with its flagship Galaxy S3 phone. For those not familiar, the “sudden death” issue popped up on forums like XDA a month or so ago in forum threads that have now exceeded the 100-page mark. “Sudden death” refers to the device dying out of no where, with no one initially able to figure out what the cause was. Most assume it has something to do with the motherboard of the device shorting out, leading to a depressing initial conclusion that there may not be a possible fix. That conclusion may not be correct. 

A Samsung rep is said to have confirmed that the issue isn’t just a unicorn, that it exists only on 16GB models of the phone, and can be fixed by a firmware update. No timeframe was given for this update, but that’s certainly better news than what many had feared.

From what I can tell, this isn’t affecting many of the U.S. carrier-branded Galaxy S3 units. Or if it has, none of the affected have emailed us to complain about it. It may be specific to the international variant, which unfortunately, has probably been the most widely sold.

Good news, though, if anyone was worried.

Via:  Tweakers | XDA

  • http://www.facebook.com/xbalanque Robert Cox

    This started happening to me a few days ago. I’ve go the Verizon 16G S3.

  • ste

    I got the 32g and mine is as dead as a door nail… just stopped working one morning.. wont charge, wont turn on, i’ve tried a different battery. took it to a phone dealer and they have now told me to take it to samsung… but my warrenty has past! so i’m screwed really! 580 quid on something that didn’t even last a year? nice one samsung : (

  • Coco

    My wife’s s3 16g just died out of the blue this morning. No warning at all. She was on the phone, finished her call, put the phone on the kitchen counter, went to use it ten minutes later; dead as a doornail. This is, of course, after it charged most of the night. But for kicks, I pulled the battery, replaced it with the battery in my s3, attempted start-up… nothing. No signs of moisture or electrical short. Anti-virus on the phone. Samsung has some explaining to do. I should download that firmware update… hmmm. HOW THE HECK DO I DO THAT?

  • Aj

    I think it would be much more useful for other users for you to mention where you purchased your phone from, instead of just saying it died after 2 weeks. This method would allow other users to get an idea of where or what continent has the bad “batch” of phones that are being distributed. Just my 2 cents.

  • Soky

    I have the S3 with Verizon and mine just died last night. How are they going to fix this issue with the ones that have lost a practically brand new phone?

  • SamsungSucks

    Took two weeks for Samsung’s service centre in Thailand to tell me they wouldn’t fix it under warranty, because it came from the UK. It either has to go back to the UK, or pay the expensive repair.

  • anonymous

    I experienced sudden death issue for my phone Samsung Galaxy S III GT-I9300. I called Samsung support in USA. They said International versions are not supported in USA, warranty is not valid for the sets purchased on ebay and amazon according to Samsung support.

  • Pretty

    Im so depressed about what happened to my new Samsung S3, I can’t imagine that after I spent thousand just to have that kind of phone….it results like that…I cant even enjoy my new installing games and music as well..weeks only and it’s suddenly dead….I don’t know why…..?????????? So frustrating…..will anybody from Samsung gave us what exactly be the best way just to have a feeling of chance or hope that our s3 phone will be fix..please……….

  • BummedOwner

    My VZ16gb unrooted jb os just died last night. I had just downloaded a 1gb file off a friends network and did nothing else. Phone sat on table for another hour or so and suddenly died. When rebooting it would not go past Samsung logo. I made several attempts to boot os even trying safemode boot. Now phone does nothing at all. Definitely a hardware issue.

  • MikeySA

    We are in South Australia and Just had the malnboard replaced after sudden death

  • james

    my S3 died on 20th Dec. Still under warranty. Was fully charged and just died. 16gb model. Depressed as still haven’t received it back, and didn’t backup either :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/melinda.ettery Melinda Ettery

    I have this problem…..I’m not worried if my phone doesn’t work again….I just want it to turn back on so I can save my photos….as this sudden death thing happened…it’s really pissed me off…I’ll try anything to get my photos back…..please help me someone……..

  • hemanzano

    Just received mine back from O2 repair. Mine dies on Christmas Eve. O2 explained was a motherboard issue and there were corrupt files. They changed the motherboard.

    • http://www.facebook.com/melinda.ettery Melinda Ettery

      We’re they able to keep your photos or did you lose them…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Rowe/645770220 Daniel Rowe

    no problems here might be another problem of them guys who wear skinny jeans and flex there phones trying to squeeze in to jEANS THAT ARE NOT MENT FOR MEN TO WEAR LOL

  • sidney547

    How about a fix for the spontaneously cracking screens? It’s a huge issue that’s been ignored. My wife’s screen cracked three ways when she barely had the phone for a month (no fault of her own), Verizon and Samsung told her she was SOL.

  • raystar

    mines just died. 3 mobile UK response is to send it to a store who will reset the device. 3 holidays and 2 visits to the olympics gone. yeh yeh i know, shouldve backed it up, but didnt expect this after just 5 months of careful use!!! not happy, knew i shouldve got an iphone

    • Diablo81588

      Shouldn’t have gotten a Samsung *

  • http://www.openboxltd.co.uk/ Sanmi Lajuwomi

    We all know what the S in S3 stands for. Samsung releases the worst products ever and they should be shut down for polluting the environment.

  • http://twitter.com/uncappedmarker Jaime

    Mine does this all the time! It’ll be dead for seemingly no reason, and it requires a battery cycle and a charge (say..10 minutes) to get it running again.

  • PSDonym

    My S3 died for absolutely no reason a week ago and it has just been sent to Samsung to see if they can fix.

    What are the chances of them flashing new firmware if they find out it a rooted device with a beautiful version CM 10 on it?!!! Hopefully, they can’t turn it on and I just get a brand new device sent back to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mroberte Robert Evans

    This actually happened to my S3 last week. Plugged it in to the charger, came back to it about an hour later with no response what so ever. Nothing I did would turn it back on. I have the 16GB VZ blue one. Verizon sent me a new one, however it does seem like it is a voltage thing. I’ve had it for about 4 months now, and it has the JB update.

  • http://twitter.com/metalhead520 Nick

    They might need to rethink it just being on the 16gb versions, since I’m on my 4th 32gb S3 as we speak :-. 2 had gps problems to where it couldn’t find me even using every trick in the book and clearing all kinds of cache and such. Also the last one had a bad GPU to where my screen was going out. Absolutely love the phone when it works, but when it doesn’t, I wanna pull my hair out. Thinking I should have stayed with Moto and got the Razr HD MAXX. The radios on the Moto devices were better than any of the updates on my S3′s.

  • tinomusic

    My SGS3 died suddenly a month after I got it. I got the International version as i live in Australia.
    I got it repaired and its running all good now

    • ALi

      hey……can you please share the contact details/address of the repair center who repaired your S3?? I have international warranty and I desperately need to find a place where I can claim Samsung international warranty.

      • mark schindler

        Wrong. These is no such thing as a samsung international warranty. Non wonder they are so profitable.

  • rowwww

    It seems like this is a hardware issue, not a software issue. At least thats what I’m getting from reading the XDA thread. Meh, whatever. If it fixes the problem great. Windows Phone 8 users are still waiting for their random reboot fix a month later and still not fix from Microsoft. lowwwwl

  • Mchl496

    Weird its only on the 16gb model.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=78205266 Roberto Sanchez

    It happened to me. Verizon 16gb S3 Pebble Blue rooted running Cm10 nightlies. I am experienced with rooting and covering. I had the OG Droid. But one day, out of the blue my phone died and it would not turn on. Luckily Verizon replaced it but I was still within my 1 year warranty. But I wasnt on stock and it still died. Even with the charger none of the lights wouls turn on.

  • Joe

    The fix is a free S4.

  • http://twitter.com/davidbavin David Bavin

    Absolutely no problems with my 16GB Note II :)

  • Butters619

    Some hardware engineer has some explaining to do.

    • George264

      some hardware engineer is going the way of scott forstall.

  • KOBALT

    Got my wife one about a month ago. so far, so good. I’m on the Note 2. I hate Samsung for many reasons, but nobody had a phone with the specs as mine. I’m not surprised if it happens to mine as well. This is the only device I will ever own of Samsung. I’d be happy to tape over their logo. Despise x10. Horrible products/customer service. I havent had issues with their phones, but their TVs, blurays, customer service, warranties and everything else. F_them.

    • Ihatenexus

      Ha………….you keep buying Samsung, your a glutton for punishment. No one to blame but yourself ……..they have their Sucker in you.

  • Futbolrunner

    Verizon still hasn’t pushed the JB update to my GS3 :sadpanda:

    • lgt

      Just check for an update manually….no?
      Mine was never pushed I just used the check update feature and there it was.

      • Futbolrunner

        I have, but every time it says “Service unavailable. To check for system updates, go to Settings>About device when service is available.”

        I switch to 4G, 3G, wi-fi, and get no luck :(

        • Steven02

          Try rebooting your device. Mine was doing that awhile back. Before they published the upgrade. It should say checked at a particular time, not service unavailable.

    • PhoenixPath

      Follow the instructions fprovided by multiple fansites, including DL:

      If it’s not there, we have been told that the “Google Services Framework” trick works.

      *Settings>Apps>All>Google Services Framework>Force stop/Clear data

      http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/14/jelly-bean-update-now-live-for-verizons-galaxy-s3/

      Failing that…take it to Verizon (A corporate store, not a franchise). They can push it manually.

  • J Davis

    Hope this doesn’t run in the family says a GN2 owner..

  • Bionicman

    mines is working fantastic (VZW 16gb). better than ever with JB. I would be curious if there were any Droid Life readers that have had this “sudden death” happen to their phone and what carrier are they on.

  • CapnShiner

    I’ve had no such problem with my Verizon 16GB GS3. I hope you’re right about it only affecting the unlocked GSM version. Mine has plenty of warranty period left but I would still rather not deal with it dying on me.

  • Zerg

    How can one receive the update if the device is dead?

    • CapnShiner

      Really?? The firmware update is meant to prevent it from happening. If the device is truly dead it obviously cannot be flashed with an update.

      • nightscout13

        He was trolling

      • Kayungjoo

        I think he meant if it happened to your device and they are claiming there is a “fix” for it then how would you apply this fix? Fix refers to repairing something that is broken. I believe you were thinking of a method of prevention.

        • michael arazan

          Twice my Samsung Gnex has had a full charged battery and in a second makes a static sound over speaker and all power drains and phone shuts off out of power, wondering if it has something to do with the batteries doing something and shorting out the devices..

    • KOBALT

      Most people probably don’t know about the stock recovery. That’s the only thing I can think of.

    • Bewara2009

      This!

    • Debbie Wong

      it’s a shame because it happened to me. I send my s3 to samsung poland and they canceled my warranty and said that it is my fault. I had to repair my phone in not authorised service and pay 100 euros for this http://www.youtube.com.qr.net/j384/watch?v=QZEpDqP3IrQ

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I guess it depends on if the bug makes the device really dead, or just kinda dead.

  • KennyVeltre

    Does it affect those on AOSP?

  • http://twitter.com/fr8cture Eric

    Good thing I got the 32gb version then.