Samsung is currently announcing why they recalled the Galaxy Note 7, live on YouTube. You can watch the happenings here.
In the mean time, we are pouring over all of the material they just released with regard to the investigations and will be updating this post with their findings.
UPDATE: Alright, so we have some worthwhile information up front to share. In the infographic below, Samsung shares the fact that there were two separate battery issues from recall 1 to recall 2 that investigations have identified. In the first recall (“Battery A”), there appears to have been a battery flaw where a “negative electrode was deflected in the upper-right corner of the battery,” plus the “tip of the negative electrode was incorrectly located in the curve” of the battery cell. You can see what an abnormal battery looks like (the ones that caught fire) and what a normal battery looks like. They likely caught this issue initially, which essentially then led to issue 2.
In the 2nd recall (“Battery B”), Samsung lays out that manufacturing issues, one situation where the insulation tape of the battery was damaged, plus another where the insulation tape was missing, are the causes of additional battery failures. You can see those described in the infographic below as well.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported these exact causes, for the most part: 1) there was a flaw in the original batteries used; 2) the rush in manufacturing after the 1st recall led to badly made batteries. So like we described on Friday, Samsung ran into a situation where they identified the initial issue and cut out that manufacturer, but then likely shot themselves in the foot by asking another battery manufacturer to ramp up production, leading to poorly made batteries.
UPDATE 2: Hey, here are some photos of the numerous tests that Samsung issued! Pictures are fun, right? Samsung says that they tested more than 200,000 fully assembled devices and more than 30,000 batteries to find these two battery issue conclusions.
UPDATE 3: And now we have a pretty basic overview explainer video.
Samsung has also added the following note about the investigations that took place:
In addition to our own investigation into these incidents, we also retained independent industry expert organizations, including UL, Exponent and TUV Rheinland, to provide objective, unbiased analysis. Our investigation, as well as the investigations completed by three independent industry organizations, concluded that the batteries were found to be the cause of the Note7 incidents. Nonetheless, we provided the target for the battery specifications for the innovative Note7, and we are taking responsibility for our failure to ultimately identify and verify the issues arising out of battery design and manufacturing process prior to the launch of the Note7.
UPDATE 4: OK, so that’s all good and well, but what about the future? What is Samsung going to do to ensure that phones are safe going forward? They have a new 8-Point Battery Safety Check, of course! Check it out below.
Not only will they use this new 8-point battery check, they are also introducing additional safety measures to the planning stage of a product. You can see those new measures below.
UPDATE 5: Want to see some of the dirty details from the independent investigations? You can download the slides here.