Samsung Ends Production of the Note 7

Yoolim Lee and Sohee Kim, Bloomberg:

Samsung Electronics Co. is ending production of its problematic Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, taking the drastic step of killing off a device that became a major headache for South Korea’s largest company.

Samsung had already recalled the Note 7 once last month after early models exploded and the latest move comes after customers reported that replacement phones were also catching fire. Samsung will be without its highest-end smartphone that was supposed to compete against Apple Inc.’s iPhones and other premium devices during the holiday shopping season.

After even the replacement phones started catching fire, I’m not surprised by Samsung’s decision. Based on Lee and Kim’s report, it seems that they don’t have a satisfactory resolution yet, and it’s far riskier to keep trying new things when the Note 7’s reputation is so damaged.

I’m not sure I really believe that Samsung will have nothing like the Note 7 to show for the all-important holiday quarter. If they manage to find the fault and fix it within the month, they could easily re-launch the phone under a different name — all of the tooling and production capabilities are already in place. The question is: would anyone buy it, or, indeed, any Samsung phone at this rate? No Android OEM has the name recognition or marketing prowess of Samsung’s Galaxy line, so where do all of those sales go now that their brand is in the toilet?

On a somewhat related note, it happens to be National Fire Prevention Week in the United States and Canada. Stay safe and promptly return your Galaxy Note 7.