Samsung still doesn’t know what went wrong with the Note 7

The faults with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and the company’s ultimate decision to kill it, is sure to cost Samsung an enormous amount in money and reputation, yet it’s still not clear what caused the handset to overheat, and it seems Samsung itself may not even know. 

While faults with the batteries were initially blamed, Park Chul-wan, former director of the Center for Advanced Batteries at the Korea Electronics Technology Institute, who spoke to the New York Times, believes that Samsung “was too quick to blame the batteries; I think there was nothing wrong with them or that they were not the main problem.” 

That’s a conclusion that’s easy to draw, given that replacement handsets with different batteries seemed just as fire-prone. 

But it’s a problem that Samsung’s engineers haven’t been able to replicate, and nor do they seem to know what caused it.

A question without an answer

All we know for now is that it’s unlikely to have been an issue with the chip board or design, as if it was then replicating the problem should have been quick and easy according to Mr Park. 

“The problem seems to be far more complex,” he said. “The Note 7 had more features and was more complex than any other phone manufactured. In a race to surpass iPhone, Samsung seems to have packed it with so much innovation it became uncontrollable.” 

Investigations into the phone are ongoing, but right now it seems we may never truly know what went wrong.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.