Incredibly, Samsung is the only smartphone maker who tests smartphone batteries in its in-house test labs in the United States where all other smartphone makers, including Apple, get their phone batteries tested at any of 28 test labs certified by the American Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association. Even though Samsung's in-house lab has been approved by the CTIA, the question remains whether Samsung overlooked test results in a rush to release the Galaxy Note 7 in global markets.
Samsung's haste in launching Galaxy Note 7 may have resulted in battery woes
The CTIA-mandated tests on smartphone batteries revolve around battery performance when calls are in progress, when devices are being charged and also when the external temperature rises suddenly, like during the peak of summer. Once a battery clears all these tests, only then is it considered safe to be shipped with smartphones. In the case with Galaxy Note 7, there have so far been 96 reports of overheating batteries, 13 reports of them burning up and another 47 of them causing property damage. So many issues with a particular smartphone battery type certainly raises questions about the quality of testing done in the first place.
Reportedly, Samsung is still clueless about why the battery issues occurred, even though several theories about the same have been floated by company executives and third party experts alike. A number of such theories have pointed to the fact that Samsung observed incredible haste in rolling out Galaxy Note 7 in global markets, probably with an eye on Apple iPhone 7 Plus releasing in September.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery woes a result of high capacity Lithium batteries
Last month, a report in Bloomberg explained how Samsung shifted the initial launch date of the Galaxy Note 7 from September to mid-August and then to August 3. Bloomberg said that Samsung's employees worked overtime and slept at their desks to save time and to ensure that the phablets could reach the world a month before Apple's iPhone 7 Plus did. It also added that suppliers were put under intense pressure as Samsung changed the specifications of the upcoming phablet time and again. We believe a lack of initial planning and too much haste resulted in batteries not working too well with the final version of the handsets.
After the battery fiasco became too much for the company to handle, the Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that batteries in Galaxy Note 7 handsets short-circuited as they were too big for their compartments and the lack of space caused undue pressure during charging. We wonder if the batteries would have cleared stringent testing had they been subjected to testing at any of the 28 labs approved by the CTIA rather than being tested in-house by Samsung. It will also be interesting to see if Samsung will follow the same procedure with its upcoming phones like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Edge which may release in February next year.
Source: Wall Street Journal