TOKYO — Following a three-month investigation into the exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets, Samsung put the blame squarely on the devices’ batteries.
The company also revealed Monday that the Galaxy S8 would not be showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month — an event typically used by the company to reveal its latest flagship smartphone. The move suggests a delay in the consumer release of the S8 device.
As for the flaming Galaxy Note 7, Samsung investigators uncovered two separate faults with the two batteries.
Samsung pinpointed the handset design caused overheating of “Battery A,” which was used in the Note 7 model first recalled. “Battery B,” deployed in the second recalled Note 7 model, is now identified with a manufacturing defect.
Although the Korean giant refrained from naming the battery suppliers, it is known that Battery A was manufactured by Samsung affiliate SDI. China’s Amperex Technology, a subsidiary of Japan’s TDK, provided Battery B for the Note 7.
Referring to Battery A (made by SDI), Samsung said the probe found that, due to design problems, the batteries did not fit squarely into their cell pouch. This triggered short-circuits, causing the devices to overheat and catch fire.
Replacement batteries, so-called Battery B — deployed after the first recall and provided by a separate supplier (Amperex) — were then found to have manufacturing defects, said Samsung, that rendered them also fire-prone.
Samsung ruled out any issue with the smartphones’ software or other hardware.
Samsung described on its website how a short circuit within the battery can happen as follows:
A short circuit within the battery may occur when there is damage to the positive and negative electrodes to meet within the “jelly roll.”
Samsung also made it very clear that its Note 7 investigation was carried out not only by its internal engineering team, but also by independent third parties. Two U.S. companies, UL and Exponent, concurred that abnormalities in batteries from two suppliers were the crux of the issue.
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