This morning, tech expert Adrian Weckler joined Sean O’Rourke in studio on RTÉ Radio 1 to explain the curious case of the exploding smart phone.
"There’s a fire hazard; there’s a fear of explosion; and Samsung has acknowledged it."
Around midnight last night, if you haven’t heard, Samsung issued a worldwide alert to owners of their multi-million selling Galaxy Note 7 to stop using it, turn it off immediately, do not turn it back on.
Aviation authorities have banned passengers using the phones, after smoke from a replacement device forced the evacuation of a passenger plane in the United States last week.
It’s a disaster for Samsung. The device in question is one of their top competitors for Apple’s iPhone 7 and Adrian Weckler gave a sense of the stark reality facing the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer.
“Samsung could be looking at a loss of €5 billion, maybe €10 billion… it’s a total and absolute car crash.”
This is the second time the phone in question has had to be recalled. The first time around, during the summer, the problem was thought to have been with the battery used in the device.
“In the last 10 days, of the replacement devices, we’ve at least six confirmed devices that have gone on fire. In the US, safety authorities there said that there are up to 100 reports of property damage and burns resulting from the Note 7.”
In Ireland the number of people affected is a lot less. “At most it’s the low thousands… probably only a few hundred,” said Adrian.
Ironically, Adrian said, he has tested the device and says that it has an “unbelievable” battery life of a day to a day and a half. In this modern age, where we’re always on and feel we need to be constantly contactable, for many of us, our phone’s battery life is a constant source of frustration.
“There’s so much pressure to get more battery life out of smart phones. Most people listening, it’s actually a common occurrence to feel the back of your phone starting to warm up… there’s a kind of critical point where the phone is supposed to kick in and its mechanics are supposed to cool the thing down internally. That hasn’t happened with this Note 7.”
“At this point, if I was a betting man… I think this phone is dead. There’s no way they can bring it back to the market, the reputational damage is too great.”
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