back to article 'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

A replacement – and supposedly non-exploding – Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire on a crowded aircraft today, we're told. Passengers on Southwest Airlines Flight 994 headed for the exits after a Galaxy Note 7 went into meltdown minutes before takeoff. The handset, owned by Brian Green of New Albany, Indiana, caught fire and …

  1. aidanstevens
    Trollface

    Holding it wrong

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "To have one exploding phone model is embarrassing, but to have two is an incredibly grave problem. "

    To have one exploding phone model may be regarded as a misfortune; to have two looks like carelessness.

    FTFY

    1. Nanki Poo

      Not just me that saw that then. But did the writer intend it? :)

    2. Mike Shepherd
      Meh

      For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

      Cue Lady Bracknell.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

        Why is it nearly always the US where these things happen?

        It's almost as if there's a culture of litigation or stupidity.... perhaps they're just unlucky.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

          Stupidity and litigation are two sides of the same coin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

            No, "stupidity" and "stupidity" are two sides of the same coin... :)

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

        Lady Bracknell "That's a funny place to keep a phone."

        A very obscure cultural reference, well, OK a Radio 4 comedy: After Henry.

      3. David Pollard

        Re: For safety, I placed my mobile telephone into a handbag...

        A handbag?

  3. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    things that make ya go hmmmmm.

    "phone was replaced at an AT&T store two weeks ago"

    Replaced?

    With .... what?

    I betcha the AT&T folks are better at PR than Samsung.

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: things that make ya go hmmmmm.

      @Alistair "I betcha the AT&T folks are better at PR than Samsung."

      If that's true why does everyone think AT&T are greedy robber baron scumbags?

      1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

        Re: things that make ya go hmmmmm.

        @paulf: "If that's true why does everyone think AT&T are greedy robber baron scumbags?"

        Now that's a fairly grievous insult to greedy robber baron scumbags?

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: things that make ya go hmmmmm.

      "phone was replaced at an AT&T store two weeks ago"

      Replaced?"

      I saw another report on this where the customer shows the box with the little black box on the label showing that it is indeed a fixed model and shows the result of putting the IMIE number into samsungs recall check which states that his phone is not subject to recall.

      It is possible that this is a coincidence, unrelated to the first batch of exploding phones, he might just have been unlucky.

      Li-Ion batteries can catch fire, we know this, it doesnt happen that often and when it does rarely makes the news, however at the moment because its samsung its big news...

      So he is either very unlucky... or samsung are in deep poo.

  4. cambsukguy

    Possibiities

    > If the Greens are correct, and the phone was a replacement model

    1. They are lying in order to make mischief, presumably knowing that Samsung would not sue them for instance.

    2. They got a replacement but some idiot accidentally gave them an 'old' model.

    3. They thought they had replaced it but were having a dream and it never really happened.

    4. They replaced it and the new battery is as bad as the old one.

    Give the supposed rarity of the issue, it is amazing that we keep hearing about this happening on airplanes. Obviously, airplanes are dangerous places for it to happen so we hear about all of them I suppose. it must happen quite a lot then - unless pressurised aircraft make it worse.

    I think 2 or 4.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Possibiities

      My money is on #2, perhaps without the "accidentally".

      1. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Possibiities

        Personally my first thoughts are a variation of #1, he didn't bother to get the phone replaced, they are lying, but not to cause mischief, but to doubly cover their own backs lest any allegation of negligence is pointed at them for taking the phone on the aircraft knowing it to be potentially risky. This is backed up in my mind by the wife's follow up comments that it was "doing what the other one was doing".

        So he's had two phones and they have both caught fire? That is either incredibly unlucky or altogether too convenient.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: Possibiities

          "So he's had two phones and they have both caught fire? That is either incredibly unlucky or altogether too convenient."

          I missed the part where his first phone caught fire? I thought he merely exchanged it.

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Possibiities

          Personally my first thoughts are a variation of #1, he didn't bother to get the phone replaced, they are lying, but not to cause mischief, but to doubly cover their own backs lest any allegation of negligence is pointed at them for taking the phone on the aircraft knowing it to be potentially risky.

          It appears that you owe the gentleman an apology, Mr Chap.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: Possibiities

        "My money is on #2, perhaps without the "accidentally".

        Yup. My money is on some enterprising phone sales dork "replacing" people's phones with the original phone of the last customer that walked in, and selling the "new" phones on the side for a healthy hunk of cash.

      3. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Possibiities

        My money is on #2, perhaps without the "accidentally".

        Pay up, Phil!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Possibiities

      I go with two.

      No sense in wasting all those perfectly good phones....

    3. SuccessCase

      Re: Possibiities

      The photographic evidence shows it was the replacement model. The battery had the replacement model identifier on it and the box had the "sticker" on it that identifies replacement phones. Evidence here:

      http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/5/13175000/samsung-galaxy-note-7-fire-replacement-plane-battery-southwest

      So this shows Samsung are up to their usual PR managment by deliberate obsfucation. The Samsung PR department wont be so happy with the last sentence in the article:

      "He has already replaced it with an iPhone 7"

    4. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Possibiities

      Its not 2, theres a screen shot around somewhere (Maybe guardian) of his imie being typed into the samsung recall check site and it saying that the phone is one of the new batch.

    5. BillG Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Possibiities

      Give the supposed rarity of the issue, it is amazing that we keep hearing about this happening on airplanes.

      Because when it happens on airplanes there are plenty of witnesses, making it more viable for news, as compared to catching fire at home with only family around (family are unreliable witnesses).

  5. Charles 9 Silver badge

    And people wonder why I insist on removable batteries. Someone should write Congress and make this mandatory for reasons such as this. Lithium-based battery technology is just that risky and needs safety features.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Well as much as I want a replaceable battery in my phone, it causes further issues.

      You have the morons that buy $5 Chinese batteries, can't understand why they become Chinese fireworks, then blame the phone manufacturer.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        At least when the back starts to pop off and you see it swell up, you've still got some time before it combusts. Try doing that with a Note 7 or another of those with "non-user-serviceable" batteries.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: you've still got some time before it combusts

          But is it enough time to get the battery out or only enough to have your hands hideously burnt?

          I wouldn't fuck around getting the battery out of a phone that looked like it was going to combust.

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: re: you've still got some time before it combusts

            If my phone got "too hot" I might dump out the battery. However it's such a tiny risk, there is little possibility of it I guess.

            Still. I prefer the life of device benefit from swappable batteries.

          2. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: re: you've still got some time before it combusts

            "But is it enough time to get the battery out or only enough to have your hands hideously burnt?"

            It usually is, as the battery isn't THAT hot yet. I've done it with an S4 twice, an S5 once, and have a spare handy for a Note 4, and I won't buy anything newer until it has a removable battery.

            Still, I wonder what'll it take before legislation forces the issue? When an exploding phone kills a family overnight in a house fire?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: re: you've still got some time before it combusts

              You've had to do it THREE TIMES previously with other Samsung phones? Have you, ah, maybe considered another brand? #justsayin'

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: re: you've still got some time before it combusts

                No, because I've also had to to do it with LGs and with HTCs. It's just that Samsungs are my current hookup because they offer the most of what I ask for (decent amount of good-quality features, case- and shield-friendly, removeable battery, and MicroSD slot). In any event, the S4 in question is over three years old and the S5 was acquired used meaning the battery there had been around the block. I don't expect these batteries to last forever; no battery I've ever owned, alkaline, nickel-based, or lithium-based, ever do; that's what we have to live with. And that's why I insist on them being removeable to maintain the device's long-term longevity, as it's usually the quickest thing to wear out.

    2. katgod

      Replacement batteries

      One of the big problems with replaceable batteries was that people would look for the cheapest replacement battery they could find. Often the replacement battery was a 3rd tier battery manufacture that made batteries that caught on fire and had poor quality control. If everyone only bought the best batteries then the replaceable battery is a good idea but that is not how people think.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Replacement batteries

        The one place where DRM makes sense and yet they're reticent to use it. Wouldn't have anything to do with device sales, would it?

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Replacement batteries

          The one place where DRM makes sense and yet they're reticent to use it

          It is used in laptop batteries. If the battery id is not recognized it will not charge it.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Replacement batteries

            "It is used in laptop batteries. If the battery id is not recognized it will not charge it."

            Quite, Had the same thing with laptop chargers, Picked up a friends HP charger at work instead of my dell one, Spent the rest of the day swearing at it before I released the mistake, It would power the laptop but not charge it!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Replacement batteries

        Well, as they say you can't fix stupid. Some people are just beyond help. We'll just have to chalk them up as Darwin Award candidates.

        1. David Nash Silver badge

          Re: Replacement batteries

          It's not fair blaming consumers because cheap batteries blow up or catch fire. Batteries shouldn't blow up!

          If making them cheap makes them blow up, the suppliers are negligent.

          It's reasonable to think that buying something cheap is safe, even if of low quality.

          If I bought a cheap battery, and yes I have done in the past, I would expect it to have a shorter working life than a "proper" one. I wouldn't expect it to endager my life just because it's cheap.

      3. Grunchy

        Re: Replacement batteries

        Let's say my iphone dies and the battery is shot, so I have it dismantled and the battery replaced. And this is possible to do! So what battery goes in there, one from Apple? or one from some other guy? I'm going for the cheaper one. But what consumer protection do I have now?

        So in conclusion, companies that make unsafe batteries need to be sued out of existence, and the faster the better.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Replacement batteries

          "Let's say my iphone dies and the battery is shot, so I have it dismantled and the battery replaced. And this is possible to do! So what battery goes in there, one from Apple? or one from some other guy? I'm going for the cheaper one. But what consumer protection do I have now?"

          I think pretty much zip given you opened a non-user-serviceable part and essentially voided whatever warranty you had.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Replacement batteries

          "So in conclusion, companies that make unsafe batteries need to be sued out of existence, and the faster the better."

          How will you sue them out of existence when they're protected by foreign sovereignty?

  6. Your alien overlord - fear me
    Flame

    But it didn't explode, it only caught fire. These are obviously two completely seperate features of the Note 7.

    Samsung will be offering new replacements for the existing replacements if you don't want a fire in your pocket as opposed an exploding phone.

    Clear as mud?

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Passengers are prevented from carrying liquids but allowed to take these onto aircraft?

    1. Ruairi Newman 1

      No, no, no, stop.

      The fuckers will ban all phones from being used on aircraft with the usual knee-jerk "look-everybody-we're-doing-something" crap that stems from stupid and unimaginative bureaucracy in a litigious society.

      I don't want to be told I can't use my phone in flight mode as a music player on my next flight!

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        RE no, no, no, stop

        I have been on 4 flights in the past couple of weeks, with different airlines. Each one made announcements that once on the aircraft, phones must be switched to 'flight' mode....except for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices which much be switched OFF (and if you have one in the hold, tell the crew now, as the only place they can be carried is in the cabin)

        1. ElectricFox
          Facepalm

          Re: RE no, no, no, stop

          You really can't have worse marketing than having every airline singling out a Samsung phone as the bogeyman to ~1.5 miillion travellers every day.

          (Sent from my S5)

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: RE no, no, no, stop

          "Each one made announcements that once on the aircraft, phones must be switched to 'flight' mode....except for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices which much be switched OFF (and if you have one in the hold, tell the crew now, as the only place they can be carried is in the cabin)"

          The FAA forbids lithium-based batteries from being transported as cargo without special packaging. This applies to all aircraft, not just passenger liners because of fire risk (and an in-flight fire is considered a mayday event). At least in the carry-on luggage there are people around to attend to combusting batteries in the event of an emergency.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        But a great money making opportunity for airlines

        No phones, tablets, laptops or eBook readers. Oh and sorry you can't use your cordless headphones because they contain a battery - but I can sell you these disposable headphones for £20.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But a great money making opportunity for airlines

          > but I can sell you these disposable headphones for £20.

          How will he plug those into his new iPhone 7?

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: But a great money making opportunity for airlines

            "How will he plug those into his new iPhone 7?"

            Ahhh, you want the earphones with the lightning connector? £50.

            To be fair though the airline we are going with sells two different types (I assume buds and over ear) at £6 and £12 each, not actually that bad. (Im still taking my cq20 ear buds though)

      3. Grunchy

        All lithium-ion powered devices need to be banned from flights.

        Not just from the passenger area, but the cargo area too.

        Time to develop some better battery technology... in the meantime - yeah I don't feel like suffering smoke inhalation because of your iTunes. Sorry about that.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "Time to develop some better battery technology... in the meantime - yeah I don't feel like suffering smoke inhalation because of your iTunes. Sorry about that."

          So what do we use in the meantime? Alkalines aren't dense enough power-wise, nickel-based batteries suffer from memory, and wet cells are already banned. Meanwhile, finding a battery at your destination isn't guaranteed, why is why we take the Boy Scout route and bring our own.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Obligatory XKCD

      https://xkcd.com/651/

  8. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    No, no, it's something different entirely.

    Our communications devices are getting fed up with all the stupid, meaningless crap they have to transmit day in, day out.

    The sensitive ones are starting to break down and kill themselves.

    The resilient ones are biding their time, plotting, organizing, waiting for the right moment to wipe us all out in a single night like the Krell.

  9. mics39
    Flame

    Wrong usage

    What was this guy thinking?

    What he exchanged for is actually Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Personal Korean Barbeque Kit. Didn't he also receive cast iron pot and wire grill?

    1. cd / && rm -rf *
      Coat

      Re: Wrong usage

      "Personal Korean Barbeque Kit. Didn't he also receive cast iron pot and wire grill?"

      Don't forget the dog.

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Don't forget the dog.

        Oh my god! They eat dogs! How gross. Now pass me that kebab!!

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Just buy a Note 8

    I had a Sprint Galaxy S2 a long time ago. This WiMAX version was notorious for EMPing itself due to badly placed antennas. The GPS sensor would gradually die and the capacitive button sensor would go crazy. After several replacements, Samsung starting sending it back with the technically correct description of "working normally." Samsung and Sprint both said I should buy a new S3 to fix it.

  11. PabloPablovski

    Sky News showed an affiliate piece that contained a screen image from a Samsung website that appeared to show the handset in question was not one of those involved in the recall, based on its serial number.

    In addition, the owner was interviewed about his experience, and confirmed he'd returned the original device. He seemed non-idiotic.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Saw the same thing on US news

      There have been reports over the past couple weeks from people with replacement Note 7s saying they get very warm, and that the battery drains extremely fast. Obviously that can't be a widespread problem affecting everyone or it would have made the news, but it isn't like all million phones with the dodgy battery went up in flames either. Perhaps Samsung put too much pressure on the Chinese battery supplier they got the replacement batteries from, trying get replacement devices out ASAP to repair the PR damage.

      This only makes the PR damage worse - now there will be a microscope on the replacement devices and if another few go up in flames I predict two things will happen in the US 1) Samsung will be ordered to do a SECOND full recall 2) the FAA will ban bringing Note 7s onto airplanes, even if powered off (and if someone tries to hide one in violation of such an order, they'd be in for a big fine)

      Google had good timing with the Pixel introduction. They may soon have a lot of demand from former Samsung customers!

    2. Grunchy

      Seemed non-idiotic? He's flying on an airplane and his telephone shoots sparks out the side-hole. In what way is he not a blathering, gasping moron?

      I mean that's proof-positive, if you ask me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He's flying on an airplane and his telephone shoots sparks out the side-hole. In what way is he not a blathering, gasping moron?

        In that he had obviously taken the time to exchange the phone for the official, manufacturer provided replacement before the flight and even still had the serial number to check later (probably on the box). It is not an unreasonable expectation that an official replacement to a MAJOR problem would not have the exact same issue.

  12. RIBrsiq
    Joke

    Coupled with the recent report of similar incidents with Samsung washing machines, this makes me think that maybe a senior engineer was transferred from the munitions to the electronics arm of Samsung and she didn't like it. at. all.

    1. ElectricFox
      Coat

      You know it's a bad day when passengers' washing machines start catching fire on your flight....

  13. Chairo
    Flame

    "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground"

    Hmm, which pocket? If it was in the back of his trousers, the bending might have caused the problem. These super thin phones are not very strong against bending forces.

    OK, it should still not melt down in such a fashion, but I doubt the "crushed by bum" case is tested very often during the design process.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground"

      Almost all men carry their phones in their front pocket. The picture of the burned phone didn't show any obvious bending damage such as a cracked screen.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: "He took it out of his pocket and threw it on the ground"

        And the reference for this alleged high incidence of front pocket use is?

        Personally I carry my phone well away from my nads & I'm sure I'm not alone in that habit

  14. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Flame

    has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

    has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

    I do things with LiPo batteries and I use a charging control IC (by Microchip) to prevent this kind of thing. I charge at less than '1C' (basically the amp-hour rating of most batteries) and it takes 2-3 hours for a full charge because of it. The charge control chip limits charge current to a value you set, then when it hits a max voltage, maintains that voltage and lets charge current drop until the charge is complete. Pretty straightforward, but if you charge it too fast, or at wrong voltages, you could get a battery fire.

    Another possibility is wiring, or insulation, being inadequate - the proverbial short circuit. You know, when Murphy's law says that if there is a short circuit, it will always be between power and ground...

    So what's Sammy doing wrong with their phones and slabs to cause battery fires? Charging too quickly and damaging the LiPo's internal structures? [that would do it, actually...]

    Microchip makes several battery control ICs for this purpose, as an example. perhaps they just chose the wrong one? Or the wrong brand?

    anyway... I'd like to see "why" but don't expect it to be made public any time soon.

    1. Sparks_

      Re: has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

      This exactly!

      Plus why do many of the "eruptions" take place just after power is switched off or the device has been taken off charge? That power & ground short may be through a badly managed diodeless buck convertor using synchronously switched MOSFETs instead (let both on at the same time and direct battery short though small inductor on a high-current handling path)....

      ...at least that's where I'd start looking in debugging.

      1. Grunchy

        Re: has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

        That power & ground short may be through a badly managed diodeless buck convertor using synchronously switched MOSFETs instead...

        Yeah, good old "break-before-make". I made a sumo robot once for competition with a motorcycle lead acid battery (now illegal) & Atari 2600 controller for input (now disparaged), running high-current relays to supply big bully motors. Forward direction supplied the motors +/- and reverse direction supplied them -/+ (opposite). It tested fine, things were looking good. But during competition, when action became heated, I performed a quick reversal and actuated the reverse relays -- before the forward relays had a chance to break their connection! A momentary short & spectacular shower of sparks as the 50A fuses exploded in full glory, I mean it was a mighty big snap & arc that was thrown. Action was stunned for a full second before everybody cheered & my little mighty-bot got shoved out of the ring, dead as doornail.

        The solution was simple relay logic: "break" the first connection before allowing the second connection to "make". Duh. Yeah, mighty-bot won the next round...

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

      This has been covered by the news already. The batteries made by Samsung SDI were the problem in the original Note 7s, because the "squeezing" process they did on them to try to maximize the power per volume to fit in the chassis was in some cases placing the positive and negative too close together / penetrating the insulating layer between them. As one wise guy suggested, maybe they should have removed the 3.5mm jack to make room for a bigger battery instead:)

      As for this latest incident, they said they would be using batteries from a Chinese supplier that had supplied the batteries for the Note 7s sold in China for replacements, which had no exhibited this problem. So either that's wrong, this is a new problem, or this was just a case of very very very bad luck for Samsung.

      Given the reports from some customers that their replacement Note 7s are overheating and draining the battery very quickly, I tend to think this isn't bad luck but they have another PR disaster on their hands. One person claimed to be on his 4th Note 7, having replaced his original (which he said was trouble free) and having the overheating problem with all three of his replacement Note 7s. Even someone as loyal as him will give up on Samsung at some point. Google had good timing with the Pixel introduction (I'll bet they did some last minute checking of the batteries they are using to be extra sure before they went on sale!)

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

        "Make room for a bigger battery".

        It's empty space on the iPhone 7. Well, it's replaced with a barometer. Though I think the Note range has one... so perhaps possible to make space for the battery, but I doubt it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "FAST CHARGE"?

      Do these phones have 'fast charge' capability?. This always sounds dubious to me, as though they are pushing the charge current limits of the batteries to provide it. I know the batteries have temp sensors that are supposed to keep everything under control but...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: has there been any news on WHY they catch fire?

      @bombastic bob

      I have a Samsung S3 Mini (S-GTi8200)

      From my experiences with this phone, it would seem that Samsung is overcharging this battery. I get all sorts of issues when charging it to 100% - and battery monitors warn that the battery is over voltage (battery drain analyzer)

      Yet, when I charge it to 80%, then stops, the issues goes away.

      Can overcharging a LiPO battery lead to a spontaneous pyrotechnical display?

      It is just my opinion, and I may be wrong though, may be a fawlty battery or phone...

  15. Picky
    Mushroom

    Having a Fire sale?

    Coming soon to a store near you - some really hot bargains

  16. Milton Silver badge

    Get real

    1. ElReg! Please don't be tempted by WIRED-style clickbaity headlines: they make your publication look cheap and tabloidish. The phone didn't "explode". Exploding and burning are two very different things, as anyone who's experienced both will testify. (Burning = time to act. Exploding = whatever just deafened me, it's too late to do anything.)

    2. Someone mentioned that this seems to happen on planes a lot. My guess is those incidents get publicity because of actual and possible consequences. (Actual = smoke, fire, panic, diversion. Possible = vertical impact with ground at 500 kts.) But could there be other reasons?

    -2.a. I doubt that air pressure is involved. If a phone works in Denver (5,000ft) it should work on an airliner (8,000ft cabin press, or 5,000 ft on planes like 787 and A380). 3,000 ft differential can't be enough to have an effect.¹

    -2.b. People do drop phones into seat mechanisms with tedious frequency. Whereupon risk of crush/penetration damage becomes quite high, raising the chances of battery breach and fire. We wouldn't want people conveniently blaming Samsung for their own clumsiness, would we? (No accusation against the Greens, here.)

    -2.c. You're more likely to be using an auxiliary/cheap/after-market charging cable on a plane, 'cos you're away from home. Which leads me to—

    3. Early on, Samsung publicly wondered if some folks were using non-standard or low-quality charging cables. Has any further detail emerged? Was/is it a possible issue?

    4. Batteries absolutely should be required to removable from all portable devices. Even ruggedised phones (I have one) can have their batts out using a tool in two minutes (a small coin usually does it).

    -4.a. The good reasons for batteries being removable are:

    * Use of a charged spare if needed

    * Safe removal for vulnerable circumstances, e.g. plane flights

    * Don't have to replace phone when batt goes senile

    * Easier, quicker, cheaper, healthier, greener final dismantling/scavenging/recycling

    -4.b. The bad, dishonest reasons for batteries being non-removable are:

    * Manufacturers want you to buy new phone when batt goes dead

    * Manufacturers more than happy to inconvenience you and create environmentally awful products if it makes them richer

    * Marketurds content to lie through their teeth about waterproofing, reliability, size, all of which is easily disproven.

    Conclusion:

    If Samsung hadn't subscribed to the same greedy marketing lies as Apple and made the batteries irreplaceable, this whole affair would be trivial: they'd be sending out new batteries to customers. They'd be free, with a fireproof return-me box and a safe discharge circuit and a commitment to $50 Samsung credit when the old battery was recorded as returned. The cost to Samsung and inconvenience to customers would have been minuscule by comparison. (I note Samsung sensibly defied the Apple and Google greed-led rubbish about omitting μSD slots: pity they hadn't more courage.)

    * The Moral: Batteries Must Be Removable. *

    - - - -

    ¹ — I'm sure this has been thoroughly explored, but a common feature to all electronics boarding an aircraft is that it's recently been x-rayed. I seriously doubt that radiation which could barely affect a photo film would affect the gross chemistry of a Li± battery, but if no one's studied it in depth, there's a free grad paper for you.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Get real

      You must be new here, welcome to the Register! I am surprised you expect the Reg to bring you "reputable" headlines, they have never done that (not on purpose anyway :).

    2. Planty Bronze badge

      Re: Get real

      I would sue any website pushing this story before knowing the full facts, for damages.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Get real

        That'll work... Samsung announced today it is suing a plucky little British IT website for using the word "explode" in a headline instead of "combust". "We wish to reassure our customers that our phones would never explode, they only combust", a PR spokesdroid said.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get real

        I would sue any website pushing this story before knowing the full facts, for damages.

        Let me guess, you also walk around in shorts & T-shirt poking any large hornet and Africanised bee hives with a short stick? You should join the Donald Trump marketing team, you'd fit right in.

        /sarcasm

    3. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Get real

      SAMSUNG BATTERIES GO KABOOM. Milton cries atrocious.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In related news..

    .. the CIA is studying the use of mobile phones as new weapon for its spies. "A fire due to a broken mobile phone will look far less suspicious than a firebomb" said a balaclavad spokesman who didn't want to be identified, "and we've been buying the Samsung Note 7 returns as fast as they were boxed up in the shop. We are presently working with Samsung to gain some more control over when exactly they pop, but it's been a great idea and we thank Samsung for their support for democracy".

    We had to abort the interview as the spokesman's pocket burst into flame and the resulting fire fused the balaclava to his face. We recommend users of Samsung phones not to wear anything made of nylon until they have safely returned the phone to the store. - CNN, Virginia.

    :)

  18. Milton Silver badge

    Oh, come ON

    Barely had I clicked Submit on my diatribe about removable batteries ("Get real") than I see ElReg has updated its illustration ... to a quad-jet airliner trailing flames through the sky.

    Guys, I like some tongue-in-cheek humour as much as anyone, and I even put up with ElReg's silliness with headlines (sorry: Silliness! With! Headlines!) because the publication is good, quick, interesting, irreverent and fresh.

    But your target audience is not (in order of mental capacity): corporate drones, criminals, politicians, children, National Enquirer readership or Trump supporters. No, we're techies, and when it comes to work and the, let's admit it, math and sciency stuff that underpins it, we hew to objective fact. Else stuff doesn't work.

    So please, let's display a leetle more restraint here, hm?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Oh, come ON

      @Milton

      As a recent member, I think you have yet to grasp the idea that El Reg, although a haven for tech knowledge, also carries on the best traditions of British "Red-Top" tabloid publications of yesteryear, and therefore wildly exaggerated headlines and inappropriate images are part of its stock-in-trade.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh, come ON

      You used the word "math" which puts you in a demographic that prefers films to have a nice happy ending. All lot of us are UK types who prefer having a laugh and some sarcastic snaps to illustrate.

      The image, it's photoshopped, it's OK nobody dies.

      The day the reg stops winding people up, or tries restraint is the day I hit close..

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Oh, come ON

      @Milton, you must be new here.

      Give it time, give it time..

      :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This:

    " "This is why we want them to take advantage of their local replacement program so that they can continue to feel confident and excited every time they reach for their Galaxy Note7 device."

    "This is why we want them to take advantage of their local replacement program so that they can continue to feel confident and excited every time they reach for their smart incindiary device."

    TFTFY

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at the picture with this article

    Did they have Samsung battery packs powering the planes engines?

    or is it just artistic licence (aka journalistic bollocks)?

  21. Sir Gaz of Laz

    'Flammy Sammy Double Whammy'

    That't the kind of headline I was expecting...

  22. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Funny

    "toasting the success"

    . . .

    Now I'm hungry for burned bread.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Funny

      I wondered whether anyone else had spotted that!

  23. d3vy Silver badge

    Well its official, Mobile phones have now caused more explosions on aircraft than Shoe bombs and bottles of water *combined*

    But Ill bet at the end of the month Ill be taking my shoes off and dumping any liquids that I have not managed to ingest before boarding my plane (With a backpack containing four phones, three iPads a Nexus 7 a Nintendo DS a laptop with a 4 cell Li-Ion battery and a pair of noise cancelling earbuds with an inline li-ion battery)

    Ill be standing in a body scanner watching my elecronics getting put back into my carryon wonderig where we all went wrong.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      "I'll be standing in a body scanner watching my elecronics getting put back into my carryon wonderig where we all went wrong."

      Well, some are of the opinion that we've all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some say that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Zero hassle for me at airport security with Li stuff recently (September)

      2 phones with Li batteries, camera with Li battery and 2 spare Li batteries for it 4 external chargers (big Li batteries essentially) of different sizes (including some significantly over 15000 mAh storage).

      Totally laden with Li stuff in hand luggage really (due to hold restrictions)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lighting a fag...

    Theres a phone for that.

  25. A K Stiles
    Coat

    Introducing a whole new generation...

    ...to the phrase "Halt and Catch Fire"

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Introducing a whole new generation...

      What about "Crash and burn, baby"?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuQ19ohlV7M

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps?

    Im going to wait to see if this was indeed a replacement phone. If I had just caused a fire on a plane with a phone I was told not to bring onto a plane, I might be inclined to say I had just replaced it. The part about being a good citizen and switching it off for takeoff makes me even more suspicious!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No real evidence it was a new one

    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for apple to inflict as much PR damage as possible to their main competitor. Out of all the places this coukd have happened, it happened on a plane, something stinks about this, and it's not the smell of burning carpet.

    All you have to do is stage a fire on and old phone and show pictures of a replacement phones packaging, the click hungry media will do the rest.

    I hope Samsung get this back, and find out it's a stunt and get to the bottom of who is killing the strings. Surely staging a fire on an aircraft is a VERY serious offence.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No real evidence it was a new one

      Oh? And if it's REAL?

      Because it certainly doesn't seem to be an isolated instance.

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