Exploding Note 7 blamed on Samsung’s rush to beat Apple

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This is why you don't rush products.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Samsung’s disastrous Note 7 debacle — in which exploding handsets caused the company to withdraw all 2.5 million handsets already shipped — was reportedly the result of rushing to beat Apple.

According to a new report, Samsung saw an opportunity to capitalize on what it felt was likely to be a comparatively boring iPhone 7, and decided to break speed records unveiling a phone it thought could appeal to disappointed would-be iPhone customers.

Bloomberg says Samsung “pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, despite loads of new features, [a] person with direct knowledge said.”

The article details the manic process:

“As the launch date approached, employees at Samsung and suppliers stretched their work hours and made do with less sleep. Though it’s not unusual to have a scramble, suppliers were under more pressure than usual this time around and were pushed harder than by other customers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

One supplier said it was particularly challenging to work with Samsung employees this time, as they repeatedly changed their minds about specs and work flow. Some Samsung workers began sleeping in the office to avoid time lost in commuting, the supplier said.”

In the end, of course, it’s all been for naught. The Galaxy Note 7 picked up very positive reviews for its features, but won’t be remembered as “that great Samsung phone” so much as “that phone which caught fire and, among other disasters, torched a family’s Jeep.”

The iPhone 7, meanwhile, continued to deliver on Apple’s strategy of underpromising and overdelivering, and few people are now seriously calling the handset refresh a disappointment.

In all, if today’s report is correct, it’s another example of shady Samsung business practices in order to gain a competitive edge. Only instead of simply involving corporate skullduggery, this incident had the potential to seriously harm customers.

Has your faith in Samsung changed at all during the Note 7 saga? Leave your comments below.