Samsung reveals inquiry findings into overheating smartphones

Samsung Electronics has blamed two separate faults in two different batteries for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco that saw hundreds of its smartphones explode, forcing an unprecedented global recall of the devices.

At a press conference in South Korea on Monday, the company revealed it had tested more than 200,000 fully assembled devices - and more than 30,000 batteries - and employed the services of independent investigators.

The final consensus was:

  • Battery A had a defective part on the upper-right corner of the Jelly-Roll, which resulted in a deflection of the electrode and weakened the separator between the two electrodes, creating multiple paths for a potential short circuit.
  • Battery B had melted copper on the negative electrode area facing the positive tab, indicating a short circuit had occurred in that location.

DJ Koh, the president of Samsung Electronics' Mobile Communications Business, today apologised to its customers for the debacle. 

Before the overheating issues happened after its launch in August last year, reviews for the Galaxy Note 7 had been very positive.

The following global recall of more than 2.5 million devices in 10 markets hurt the tech giant's reputation and pocket, albeit not as badly as people might have thought.

While sales are down by around US$5 billion, thanks to the Note 7 debacle,  the company has been been able to weather much of the impact, thanks to the strength of its components business. 

Samsungs Electronics' earnings report, due shortly, is believed to be set to show the biggest operating profit in more than three years.

To avoid future battery problems in its devices, Samsung has created an eight-step process that includes more testing, inspections and manufacturing-quality assurances and a Battery Advisory Group of external advisers and experts to look at battery safety and innovation.

Monday's announcement comes after a South Korean court dismissed a request by prosecutors to arrest Samsung vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong. 

He had been under investigation for the alleged bribery of an associate of South Korean president Park Geun-hye in return for government backing of a Samsung merger in 2015.

Mr Lee claims to have been coerced into contributing funds to the associate.