Samsung on Monday held a press conference to share results of its investigation into Note 7 fires that forced the South Korean firm to temporarily recall and eventually permanently discontinue its supposed iPhone killer.

For starters, the original battery made by Samsung SDI was irregularly sized and had a flaw in the upper right corner that could cause a short circuit.

A third-party battery made by Amperex Technology was used in replacement Note 7 units, but it suffered from a manufacturing issue that could cause the battery to catch fire because of a welding defect. The company announced new and enhanced quality assurance measures to improve product safety.

Aside from Samsung’s internal effort with 700 dedicated staff testing 200,000 phones and 30,000 extra batteries, leading industry groups UL, Exponent and TUV Rheinland were commission to conduct investigations of their own in an attempt to discover what went wrong with Note 7.

Both internal and externals investigations found out that a short circuit within the original Note 7 battery (Battery A) may occur where there’s damage to the separator that lets the position and negative electrodes meet with the jellyroll.

“We believe if not for that manufacturing issue on the ramp (of Battery B), the Note 7 would still be in the market,” Samsung’s U.S. head told Recode. Additionally, the tip of the negative electrode was incorrectly located in the curve rather than in the planar area.

As for the secondary battery used in replacement devices (Battery B), the investigations discovered that high welding burrs on the positive electrode resulted in the penetration of the insulation tape and separator, in turn causing direct contact between the positive tab with the negative electrode.

As mentioned earlier, a number of secondary batteries were also missing insulation tape.

“The odds that two different suppliers had issue with the same phone is an extremely low likelihood and may signal we have reached an inflection point in smartphone battery technology,” said Patrick Moorhead, president of technology analyst and advisory firm Moor Insights & Strategy.

“Today, more than ever, we are committed to earning the trust of our customers through innovation that redefines what is possible in safety, and as a gateway to unlimited possibilities and incredible new experiences,” said DJ Koh, President of Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business.

In short, rushed manufacturing doomed Note 7.

Samsung’s official video embedded below highlights what happened with Note 7 and what they’ve done to make sure it never happens again.

The new quality control measures implemented by Samsung will help advance product safety with additional protocols like the multi-layer safety measures and 8-point battery safety check. Samsung also formed a Battery Advisory Group of external advisers, academic and research experts to ensure it maintains “a clear and objective perspective” on battery safety and innovation.

The 8-point battery safety check involves putting the batteries through “extreme testing,” followed by careful inspection by X-ray and the human eye.

Samsung’s adopted new standards for the materials in the design of the battery: it will now add new brackets around the battery for protection and use new software algorithm for governing battery charging temperature, charging current and charging duration.

Ultimately, the troubled South Korean consumer electronics giant hopes that Note 7 fires will serve as an opportunity to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries not only for itself but for the entire industry. The company promised to actively share the lessons learned to contribute toward improved safety standards.

DJ Koh once again expressed his sincere apology and gratitude to Note 7 customers, mobile operators, retail and distribution partners and business partners for their patience and continued support.

You can watch Samsung’s press conference on YouTube.

Source: Samsung

  • Subhash Perera

    No one is perfect. we learn from our mistakes.Good job SAMSUNG

    • Rowan09

      Good job for what?

      • burge

        It’s a good job they admitted they found the fault on 2 makes of batteries. But it’s bad that they didn’t test these “NEW” improved batteries correctly first time around.

      • Rowan09


  • Iskren Donev

    Good luck to Samsung, they will need it. I am not a fan of Samsung devices, however I do recognize that they put a lot of pressure on Apple not to rest on their laurels. So in the end a stronger Samsung forces Apple to push harder as well.

  • Gerardo Castro

    Loving the transparency here. Good on you, Samsung Corp.

    • Rowan09

      Come on man they had no choice.

      • Gerardo Castro

        Absolutely did. They could’ve half-assed an apology but to outright explain in detail the faults is respectable.

      • Rowan09

        How could they half ass when they messed up big time? They don’t know the reason because they’ve given so many different reasons already to now coming back to say it’s the battery. The battery was the original culprits hence the change, then the new headsets had the same issue with the new batteries. I hope they get it right but to make them as some hero is just crazy they had no choice.

      • Nate McKelvie

        They couldn’t really give a half ass apology. This wasn’t some small mistake they could give some half apology and move on. People want to know its not going to happen next time, and want proof of that. I mean you cant even get on an airplane anywhere in America to this day without hearing the “Note 7” phones are banned at least 3 times before taking off. This mistake has too much coverage to sweep under the rug. Although I’m not convinced by this “publicity stunt” myself, I’m sure it worked on many people to convince them that Samsung wont continue to do what Samsung does in the phone market, which is try to be the first to market with all new technologies and see which ones sell, and do so by cutting corners, costs, and quality.

      • Rowan09

        Thank you. I agree it’s a publicity stunt. If they figured this all out they wouldn’t have delayed the S8.

  • I commend them for sharing their findings although they didn’t really have the choice. You can totally see how hard they go into damage control to flip the story from “we rushed to make products that exploded in people’s face” to “we have learned so much and we are committed to quality.” If you listen to these guys for a little too long, you might even believe that the world is now a better place thanks to what they’ve learned.

    • If You Say So

      crApple is no better, lest we forget about all the dumb shit they’ve tried to downplay,

      Antennagate: “You’re holding it wrong”
      Touch Disease

      Not to mention as many times as crApple has released a software update that has promised “increased battery life”, my iPhone should be able to last a whole year before it needs to be charged!

      Just because I own an iPhone doesn’t mean I don’t know how to call it like I see it. You should learn to do the same thing. crApple is NOTHING compared to Samsung as a company. Samsung makes THOUSANDS of products of all kinds, what does crApple do? They make a few computers and smart devices, wow so amazing! And the sad part is that for only having such a small amount of devices to worry about every year, they still can’t figure out how to be more innovative than resizing and recycling previous year devices over and over and over again!

  • John

    People say they like the transparency but all i see here is how samsung blame their suppliers when actually it was samsung that designed the phone and samsung tell the suppliers what they want and how they want. Samsung just passing the buck again on their own design flaw. And that guys saying how they committed to innovate and redifine safety. Lol. What a load of bs. Everything in that sentence is a lie. What he ment to say is that now they HAVE to try and redifine safety and for once try and innovate. They were never commited in the first place or this would never have happened. Typical politican speak.

    • Nate McKelvie