TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s an epic public relations nightmare for tech giant Samsung, and the timing couldn’t be worse. In an unprecedented move, just before the busy holiday shopping season, the company announced it has decided to kill off one of its most popular products, the Galaxy Note 7.
Projected losses are estimated in the billions for the plagued product that was supposed to be a superstar rival for the iPhone. Instead, the flagship smartphone has seen widespread problems with devices catching fire. The company deemed it too dangerous to sell after a mass recall last month. Now, production will stop altogether.
“As far as a branding perspective, the Note is a major phone line. I don’t know how they’ll ever recover from it,” says tech expert Mit Patel.
In 19 years, the University of South Florida engineering graduate has never seen anything quite like this. In fact, at his computer stores, he doesn’t even allow the product inside.
“The explosion is enough to kill somebody. Or at least, seriously injure bodies. My fear is that it’s around a gas station or something that could spark a real big fire,” Patel told News Channel 8.
So, what exactly is going wrong with all these smartphones? Turns out, it’s not the battery. It’s a flaw in the design. According to experts, Samsung engineers, in the fight to compete with Apple, crammed highly sophisticated technology into the Note 7, putting way too much pressure on the components inside. That, in turn, puts pressure on the battery and causes it to ignite.
Samsung is telling all customers who own a Note 7 to turn them off immediately. That’s what worries Patel.
“You know, they’re still out there. And still people have not been heeding the warning about using them. So, there’s still cases and instances that could happen, and that’s the scary part,” he said.
The company is reportedly telling customers they can get a full refund by Dec. 31 or they can exchange the device for another Samsung product.