The hottest news outside of politics and limited to technology gadgets is Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note 7. For whatever the reasons, this particular model has exploded and caught fire with more regularity than any Samsung or iPhone model of the past.
What is interesting about this particular scenario is how Samsung responded (slowly), how many viral videos surfaced of burned out Note 7’s (a few dozen), how long it took for both Samsung and authorities to respond to the problem (too long), and the fact that no one knows exactly why so many Samsung phones are bursting into flames (made worse by replacement models with different batteries doing exactly the same thing).
How many Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners had exploding battery problems? Dozens, but most counts. And that’s out of about 2-million Notes that were shipped when the problem reached crisis stage, and perhaps many hundreds of thousands more of the replacement models which also had a few catch fire.
What if the iPhone 7 caught fire?
To be fair, any smartphone manufacturer shipping a few hundred million smartphones will have some that actually overheat to the point of bursting into flames. It has happened to Apple’s iconic iPhone many times through the years, but not often enough to require a recall. The difference here appears to be how many Notes caught fire and did so just a month or so after the device launched.
What if the iPhone 7 caught fire a few dozen times after being launched? The issue isn’t that some phones have batteries and overheat and may catch fire. The issue is how many over a short period of time which is a dangerous trend that becomes public.
Why was Samsung so slow to respond to the news and viral videos of scorching hot Notes? Because batteries do overheat and some catch fire. That seems to be the nature of the devices, but only a tiny percentage so perhaps Samsung’s executives expected the few that did to become that tiny minority. It was not and more Notes caught fire.
I want to think that Apple would respond more quickly to such an impending disaster, but maybe that’s not always the case. Even now there are a few class action lawsuits against Apple for the so-called ‘touch disease’ which renders an iPhone’s touch screen mostly useless. The cause may be different though, because so many iPhone users treat their phones miserably by getting them bent out of shape in tight back pockets.
Exploding iPhones would be a different issue, but it’s obvious there’s a line that needs to be crossed whenever a product has such severe problems. What is it? iPhones overheat and catch fire, too. Apple usually replaces them and has never had enough of them overheat to issue a recall. But what’s the number for a recall? 12 a month? 24 a month? That seems like a small threshold from normal to disaster.