They finally did it. The Note 7 has been officially dragged behind the shed and put out to greener pastures. I was ready to crown it the best phone on the planet. I was ready to buy one.
We never officially had the device on sale in South Africa because of the overwhelming demand in key markets, but we were eagerly anticipating the iris-scanning goodness to reach our shores in November.
The widely circulated statement released earlier today reads as follows: “Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.”
Samsung’s estimated losses with the 2,5-million handset recall after the first reported phone combustions was pegged at around $2 billion. Today’s announcement after six replacement units caught fire – one on a passenger flight – has already stripped $17 billion from the company’s market value.
For a tech writer it’s an absolute tragedy, but there exists a sliver of a silver lining. The spontaneous combustion was attributed to unstable batteries. the biggest challenge facing the electronics industry at the moment is the limitations of battery design.
We can only hope that the next iteration of Samsung’s flagship product line introduces a new battery technology. We will, however, have to wait until at least 26 February 2017 for a new class leading Samsung product. And it will probably be of the Galaxy S flavour because Google’s Pixel phones suggest a future of only 5- and 5,5-inch screen phones that will make app development easier. And I’ll hopefully be in Barcelona to cover the launch.