back to article Phones exploding in kids' hands, shares tanking – but it's not all good news at Samsung

Samsung is continuing to take a beating in the market as it staggers from the global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 handset. The Korean consumer electronics giant saw its stock price plummet 6.98 per cent on Monday to 1.46m Korean won per share. This resulted in roughly $15.9bn of value trimmed from Samsung's market cap on the …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    That'll derail the fanbois...

    Nothing better than having thick dollops of FAIL from *all* ecosystems.

    Keep the fanbois off balance.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: That'll derail the fanbois...

      Microsoft/Nokia haven't had any bad news lately. But they probably wouldn't mind bad news, as at least it would mean people would remember they still exist :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That'll derail the fanbois...

        Nokia is still the company that signs the monthly pay cheques of myself and tens of thousands of other people around the world, so I'm guessing that some of us haven't forgotten they exist.

        The former Nokia cellphone division bought by Microsoft several years ago is, of course, a different story.

  2. C0p3n

    Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

    "Over the weekend, a six-year-old Brooklyn boy reportedly suffered burns after his Galaxy Note 7 smartphone detonated in his hands."

    I really hope is was mom/dad's and not his. That seems a bit young.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

      No, it probably was his. There's a lot of parents who think the kids need these things so they can stay in touch with Mom and Dad. <smh>

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

        His mother is quoted as saying it's a Galaxy Core. If that's true, Samsung's bulging batteries have come back to bite them, it might mean they have a problem in the manufacturing process that affects batteries for more than one model.

        I could write headlines for El Reg.

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

        No Yes, it probably was his. There's a lot of parents who think giving the kids need these things so they can stay in touch with will prevent Mom and Dad from having to do some actual parenting.

        There, I fixed it!

      3. MrXavia

        Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

        "No, it probably was his. There's a lot of parents who think the kids need these things so they can stay in touch with Mom and Dad. <smh>"

        Yes a phone, with limitations on usage, but a brand new Note 7? giving that to a six year old is asking for it to be broken....

      4. BillDarblay

        Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

        Sorry, but giving kids phones that cost £650 - this is a 1st world problem and doesn't illicit much sympathy for the parents.

    2. DonL

      Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

      "I really hope is was mom/dad's and not his. That seems a bit young."

      The important question is how a kid ends up playing with a recalled phone. Perhaps his parents were unaware of the recall? Perhaps Samsung didn't communicate it properly?

      Would have been best if they just send out a update that shuts down all affected devices.

      Something definitely went wrong here.

    3. Jah

      Re: Six year old ..? ..HIS smartphone?

      Was not a Note 7, was another Samsung phone!

  3. ecarlseen

    Galaxy Note 7...

    ... so hot right now. </Will Farrell in Zoolander voice>

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Galaxy Note 7...

      That's a smokin' product!

      I hear Verizon's havin' a fire sale!

      Samsung's positively burning up the market!

      [grabs coat and runs like hell]

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Galaxy Note 7...

        You're going to get flamed over those puns.

  4. Oengus Silver badge

    I hope this is a translation error

    Samsung says the new replacement models will not be as prone to spontaneously bursting into flames.

    I would hope you would fix the problem rather than have it "not be as prone" to happen.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Indeed

      I find it hardly a good point to know that a phablet is less likely to spontaneously combust.

      Like having a car that only has a 1% chance to explode.

      Nope, don't want.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Indeed

        So I take it you do not drive a 1972 Pinto

        Very wise

        1. Anne-Lise Pasch

          Re: Indeed

          Or a Vauxhall Zafira

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Still plugging the Galaxy 7 - Edge

    The huge electronic billboard alongside the M25 near Heathrow T5 was proclaiming earlier today#

    Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - Redefining that a phone can do (or words to that effect)

    Why has Samsung not pulled all advertising for their flagship devices until this calms down is a bit beyond me.

    Then they can come back and tout the new Note 7 as 'improved'.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Still plugging the Galaxy 7 - Edge

      Because the S7 is not at all affected by the problem, the company should stop promoting it?

      Let's keep our feet on the ground: this is mainly a slow news days story for the media to keep trotting out. Millions of devices sold and still less than 100 incidents reported worldwide, recall in process. But in our modern world it seems that people would rather have an accident and talk about it than take steps to avoid it.

  6. chuckufarley
    Joke

    I tried so mt best...

    ...But I can't stop myself. Kay Y (jel)Lee Is what you need BEFORE loosing 25 billion in the market, not after.

  7. Andre Carneiro

    Wouldn't it be funny...

    ... if the iPhone 7 suffered from a similar issue?

    It would be interesting, to say the least, to see how Apple would deal with a similar situation.

    DOI: already ordered my 7 Plus.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be funny...

      Well Samsung timed the release of the Note 7 hoping to steal Apple's thunder and have the press talking about the Note 7 instead of the iPhone 7. Mission accomplished.

      Given that devices with lithium batteries explode/burn once in a while - especially if damaged or using a damaged charger etc. - I'd say the odds are nearly 100% that within the first few weeks of Apple's launch there will be one or two reports of an iPhone 7 catching fire, and El Reg will breathlessly report it with a headline suggesting that Apple has the same problem as Samsung. And won't follow up or correct the original article when that turns out to not be the case.

      1. Naselus

        Re: Wouldn't it be funny...

        "El Reg will breathlessly report it with a headline suggesting that Apple has the same problem as Samsung. And won't follow up or correct the original article when that turns out to not be the case."

        And in what way would Apple having a tiny percentage of their flagship phones catching fire shortly after release be different from Samsung having a tiny percentage of their flagship phones catching fire shortly after release, Doug?

        Aside from the fact that Samsung have reacted to it by issuing a full recall and replacement program, while Apple would presumably follow their usual method of ignoring the problem for as long as possible, then blaming the users for it if it doesn't go away.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @Naselus

          Phones and other devices using lithium batteries, including both iPhone and Samsung, have been exploding or catching on fire once in a while since before the first iPhone was sold. But not anything traceable to any manufacturing or parts supplier defect, it was either damage, substandard third party parts/chargers used, or good old "dumb luck".

          Samsung's exploding phone problem is NOT dumb luck, some of the batteries that Samsung itself manufactured and installed in the phone are faulty in a very dangerous way. Enough that they already had 35 cases within a week of the launch, and is obviously higher as reports keep coming in.

          The Reg has reported cases of iPhones and Galaxies exploding or catching fire before, but no recalls were conducted nor was anyone suggesting there should be, because none have ever happened at even close to the unprecedented rate it has happened with the Note 7.

          You did a good job of making my point though - suggesting that if there are any reports of an iPhone 7 blowing up, you will claim it is the same thing. If there is even one report (and if there is I'd say there's a 50/50 chance it is made up) of an iPhone 7 blowing up, people like you will be ready with criticisms asking why Apple is not doing a recall, why the US government isn't forcing them to recall like they did Samsung and so forth, trying to equate the two situations which will not be even remotely the same unless Apple has quite a few blowing up (they would need more for the problem to be on the same scale, since they will have 5-10x as many iPhone 7s in customer hands by this time next week than Note 7s)

    2. Naselus

      Re: Wouldn't it be funny...

      "It would be interesting, to say the least, to see how Apple would deal with a similar situation."

      Something along the lines of 'If your iPhone 7 spontaneously explodes in your hands, then you're holding it wrong'.

    3. Avatar of They

      Re: Wouldn't it be funny...

      Looking at the grip of death fiasco, I think Apple marketing would spin it like hell. Making it appear the owners were making it up and settling out of court, which I think I may have read that it has happened. Was it the iPhone 3gs or 4 that had exploding batteries? Google points to a few articles on both.

      Either way it would be made out to be the user and not in anyway the white shiny exploding jesus phone.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @Avatar of They

        Yes, a phone blowing up or catching fire, and possibly injuring or killing people, is the same thing as a phone that suffers slightly reduced reception if you hold it in certain ways. Do please make yourself look the fool by trying to equate the two situations.

        Every model of phone that sells enough has a few reports of phones catching fire. Probably every model of iPhone has had a few, the same is true with Samsung. They also had several models that had problems where the battery would swell and crack the case. But none of these iPhones OR Samsungs have ever been recalled before, because those issues weren't a systemic manufacturing problem as is the case with the Note 7, where some are shipped with Samsung manufactured batteries that are flawed and have a risk of exploding any time you charge them.

  8. ElectricFox
    Flame

    Removable battery

    Not sure if this fault is due to the battery, or the phone's internal battery management circuitry. If the former, a removable battery would have made this fix a whole lot simpler.

    Built-in batteries seem like built-in obselecence in so many cases...

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Removable battery

      But it's strange. The three phones that I've taken apart that supposedly have non-removeable batteries (Sony Xperia SP, Nexus 4 and HTC Desire 626) are surprisingly easy to take the batteries out! The only thing that makes it difficult is the double-sided tape holding it in.

      All this "it makes the phone slimmer" argument a bit lame.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Removable battery

      I think built-in batteries are more to protect the manufacturer from the consumer buying a Chinese knockoff battery on Amazon that's $3 cheaper because it doesn't include thermal protection circuitry.

  9. tiggity Silver badge

    Hot

    Shame the media is not so hot on combusting tumble dryers

    At least Samsung are dealing with the problem, whereas masses of people with potentially home burning appliances have been waiting many, many months for glacially slow replacement / repair.

    Faults happen, kudos to Samsung for dealing with it, albeit taking a finacial hit & a reputation hit.

    Though to me their reputation has gone up as they have make a pro purchaser decision.

    Disclosure: Not ever owned a Samsung device, but more likely to consider them in future after this fairly exemplary behaviour

    1. Naselus

      Re: Hot

      "Disclosure: Not ever owned a Samsung device, but more likely to consider them in future after this fairly exemplary behaviour"

      Well, their reaction ha definitely been a feather in their cap. On the other hand, shipping a couple of million devices which may explode when people are holding them next to their heads probably has to count against them.

    2. a pressbutton
      Coat

      Re: Hot

      combusting tumble driers is just a lot of hot air really

    3. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: Hot

      Down at this end of the world we had combusting Samsung washing machines. Would have been nice to get the dryer as well just to live on the edge. Murderous home appliances are about the only fun left in this police state.

      1. vir

        Re: Hot

        What about all the venomous spiders?

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Hot - What about all the venomous spiders?

          They don't usually buy washing machines. Or tumble dryers.

          1. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: Hot - What about all the venomous spiders?

            You're right that's just a web of lies.

  10. b0hem1us

    Brand? What brand?

    This is exactly why I never thought of Samsung as a brand but as some factory that builds stuff for others... There have been fails but seeing those pictures this one wins.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boom

    After dodging morons on their mobes during my daily commute, I find I could be in favor of exploding phones.

  12. rtb61

    User Replaceable Batteries

    Samsung Note 7, proof positive of why user replaceable batteries are better than fixed batteries, plus when your phone is stubborn and refuse to reboot you can always pop that user replaceable battery, instead of being forced to pay for a repair.

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