back to article Samsung plans Galaxy Note 7 fire sale

Samsung's revealed it will soon start selling the Galaxy Note 7 again. The phablet crashed and burned last year after Samsung pushed its battery-makers too far, leading to cut corners that made the devices go up in flames. The phablet ignited a firestorm of controversy that saw it banned from planes and Now the company has …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    And I hear they'll rename it the Galaxy "Lottery of Death" 7 since you will be gambling with your life for the 7 days you'll use it before it bursts into life, er fire.

  2. Eric Olson

    In all honesty...

    I miss my Note 7.

    No, not the idea of my pants catching fire while I was on a hyperbolic rant.

    But as a phone, it was damn good. It was fast, the screen was great, and I could come home with more than 10% of a charge left. Obviously that last bit was the problem... so it wasn't perfect.

    I have the LG V20 now. It's fine. I used my wife's S7. It's fine. The S7 Edge was fine. Everything available at the time was fine. But the Note 7 was good... even great. And some government-bribing idiot (or his underlings) had to try to fuck Fate in the ear by cramming something too big into the intended cavity.

    I may never forgive Samsung for ruining a good product with an engineering gaffe that I'm sure will come out in the future as a "We told you not to..." Probably some moronic VP or executive demanded that this whiz-bang cell be put into the Note 7 because the dimensions were just a hair smaller than the battery hollow in the PDF of the technical drawings.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      You are overestimating PHBs

      Finding the relevant PDF is well beyond the ability of a PHB. If a techy left one visible on his computer or left hard copy lying around the PHB would not even try to read it. The more likely scenario is a PHB got hold of a sample battery and enclosure, measured them with a ruler and decided that they ought to fit together.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: You are overestimating PHBs

        Got sold the batteries/ (or the idea of them), so decided they are bloody well going to be used. Is my bet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In all honesty...

      >by cramming something too big into the intended cavity.

      Fnarr..

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    give it to us with a replacable battery

    Then it might be a goer (or blower, with an added SIM)

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    why oh why?

    Airlines will still not let you fly with one so why bother.

    Unless the owner has 'My Note 7 is refurbed' tattoed on their forehead how can they be expected to know that this device is not an unrefurbed one?

    Yes, this device has caused a massive dent in the bottom line but have Samsung given any thought to the total shitstorm that will hit them if even on refurbed device goes badly wrong?

    That could signal the end of the company, well certainly in the mobile space.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: why oh why?

      They can only sell them again if they can convince authorities (including the FAA) that they're safe, or as safe as any other phones anyway. But, if they can do this, then why shouldn't they sell them? Potential battery issues aside they seemed to have been very popular with owners.

    2. PTW
      Thumb Down

      Re: why oh why?

      Samsung bricked all the unreturned Note 7s with an OTA update, so even if there are one or two left around in aeroplane mode the chance of an original release causing a conflagration aboard a flight are statistically zero or a number indistinguishable from zero.

    3. HipposRule

      Re: why oh why?

      And Samsung Electronics share price is nearly at an all time high. I can hardly see that as the end og the company. After all the phablet market is comparatively niche compared to the rest of the rest of the mobile space

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: why oh why?

        >Yes, this device has caused a massive dent in the bottom line but have Samsung given any thought to the total shitstorm that will hit them if even on refurbed device goes badly wrong? That could signal the end of the company, well certainly in the mobile space.

        Eh? Hey Steve, don't mistake the many column inches about the Note's battery for actual financial statistics. Samsung, unlike Apple, make dozens of different models, of which the Note was just one. The Galaxy line is probably more popular, and (now my turn to take anecdotal evidence of chasing down statistics!) supermarkets stock a lot of something called a J5 and I can only assume they are selling them.

        As HipposRule pointed out, Samsung's electronics division enjoyed healthy profits last year, though this wasn't reported as heavily (though that is the nature of news: Fire!!! = exciting, Numbers = boring)

        We will take your point that of Samsung were daft enough to re-re-release (I've lost track) the Note 7 with batteries that get overly warm it would be a PR misstep, but not a critical one. And hey, unlike the original recall which appears to have been a bit panicked, Samsung have since taken their time and there is every likelyhood that it will be a safe as the millions of other phones they sell.

        1. Stuart Halliday

          Re: why oh why?

          Well, you could say that about their S6, S7 & soon their S8 range.

          0.1% returns is darn low. But I bet a few of them must have smoked.

    4. Duffy Moon

      Re: why oh why?

      I'd buy one if it was cheap enough. On the rare occasions that I go on an aeroplane, I'll take a different phone.

    5. Stuart Halliday

      Re: why oh why?

      Some of us don't fly more than once in a decade...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: why oh why?

        "Some of us don't fly more than once in a decade..."

        And some of us take a fresh burner when we'll be passing through customs.

        Though I suppose in a sense the Note 7 is a burner.

    6. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: why oh why?

      Airlines will still not let you fly with one so why bother.

      If it has the battery permanently exorcised I would not mind having it for a house control display. I am trying to hack something around an ancient 6 inch tablet for these purposes and it does not have the processing power I need - especially for CCTV :(

    7. ukaudiophile

      Re: why oh why?

      If the price was right (for Samsung right now, shipping these out at <£200 would be about right, better than zero) I would buy one (or two) without hesitation. I've used the original Note, Note 2 & Note 4, each one was excellent, so I'm sure the 7 would be superb now they have the battery issue resolved.

      As for taking them on airlines, I don't care, I don't fly.

    8. Pat Harkin

      Re: why oh why?

      If they refurb them, I wouldn't be surprosed to find the refurb case now calls it a "Samsung Notable" or some suitable neutral name (hopefully not "Samsung Phoenix").

    9. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: why oh why?

      Airlines will still not let you fly with one so why bother.

      No everyone flies. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the majority of people don't fly..

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Meh

    Environmentally friendly disposal

    Which country, untainted by the publicity of phones going nuclear, is going to get them... Kazakhstan?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Environmentally friendly disposal

      There's a big hole somewhere that used to be full of ET Atari games. Would make an interesting documentary in 20 years or so.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: ET Atari games

        .. there was an episode of 'Elementary' where Sherlock and Holmes were investigating a case which involved video games that had been sent to a landfill site, and yes, the game was allegedly a stinker.

        But, despite this parody muddying the waters, I'm pretty sure the burial site was discovered some years ago, and this is what inspired 'Elementary'?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: ET Atari games

          > where Sherlock and Holmes

          Hehe, he's a recovering drug addict, not Jekyll and Hyde! But yeah, it's a watchable show and it does more than many other shows borrow from contemporary cultural phenomena, such as a plot about professional video game players (when did that happen?!) being bribed with strippers.

          However, there was an actual bona fide documentary about the E.T. cartridge landfill recently. Even more geekily, there's a website about a man's efforts to fix the game:

          http://www.neocomputer.org/projects/et/

          Worth a read in my opinion. But then I'm a weirdo :)

          1. Dave 32
            Coat

            Re: ET Atari games

            Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill, 728,000 game cartridges:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.T._the_Extra-Terrestrial_(video_game)

            Dave

            P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the "Missile Command" cartridge in the pocket.

          2. Law

            Re: ET Atari games

            I quite like Elementary - and just like "Everyone" parodies Anonymous, the game thing was a parody of ET being landfilled by Atari.

            Atari: Game Over is the documentary - it's on Netflix - watched that too. Made me feel bad for Warshaw (who designed/wrote the game) - he was extremely good at his job, but basically agreed to an impossible deadline and destroyed his development career in the process.

          3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Re: ET Atari games

            "where Sherlock and Holmes"

            oops, Sherlock and Watson! But hey, you get the gist.

      2. Stuart Halliday

        Re: Environmentally friendly disposal

        Och, they said the same about the Wizard of Oz. But no one else actually goes and has a dig.

    2. handleoclast Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Environmentally friendly disposal

      "Which country, untainted by the publicity of phones going nuclear, is going to get them... Kazakhstan?!"

      At the right price, there are people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. who would love these phones. As trigger mechanisms for IEDs they offer the possibility of detonation by timer, remote control, and movement. Plus, if the detonator cap is defective, the battery can be made to explode.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A smokin idea. Get them while there hot. I just hope they aren't too expensive as I wouldn't want them burning a hole in my pocket. Some may not take up the offer if they got burnt last time. I hope I don't get flamed for posting this.

  7. cb7

    Huh?

    I'm not sure I (or anyone) except Samsung know(s) the real reason why this was not a fixable problem.

    If the problem was simply that the battery compartment was too small leading to batteries getting compressed during expansion, then clearly yes, it would be difficult or impossible to enlarge the compartment on existing stock.

    However, I'm sure it wouldn't be impossible for a company the size of Samsung to replace the batteries with physically slightly smaller ones? Sure, it would mean giving up on a tiny bit of capacity, but surely a better compromise than a strakght loss of $3.2Bn?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sounds like these refurbs (if cheap enough) may be the ultimate burner phone.

  9. Stuart Halliday
    Megaphone

    Give me one. I'd make sure the World knows it's great.

  10. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    CMOT

    They'll probably be flogged from a market stall by some bloke called Dibbler.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: CMOT

      They'll probably be flogged from a market stall by some bloke called Dibbler.

      Twenty groats! And that's burnin' me own traasers!

  11. King Jack
    Mushroom

    Battey Problems?

    If they simply kept the loved feature of a removable battery, this would have been a non existent problem. Just recall and swap the defective batteries. I hope they get burned and learn not to follow stupid trends in the future. Removing features is a thing pioneered by Sony.

  12. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    It seems to me that one might place a dense stack of these phones as a core, then surround it with a geodesic "sphere" of more phones, then attach even more phones at equidistant points on the vertices of the geodesic shell, then make one call from several miles away as a handy atoll removal scheme.

  13. dajames Silver badge

    Not so daft ...

    The battery and/or the battery compartment seem to be the problem -- those and the fact that nobody trusts the "Note 7" brand any more.

    So, Make new cases with "Note 8" on them, having slightly larger and more rigid -- and user accessible -- battery compartments so the battery has room to expand with charging, and won't be damaged by bending of the case. If necessary throw out the old batteries and use new ones made to better tolerances.

    Reflash the innards to use the "Note 8" name (and run Nougat, if they didn't already).

    Profit! (or at least amortize the loss).

    It was, by all accounts a good phone (albeit at more than I'd choose to pay) and if it can be made safe it should be used.

  14. Peter X
    Happy

    Sitting on them?

    Samsung's not disclosed how many Note 7's it's sitting on

    Now that's bravery!

  15. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    Luxury Barbecue Lighters

    ...adds that exciting new flavor of burnt plastic? Perhaps they can add other flavoring?

  16. Conundrum1885

    Re. High Frequency Trading

    Actually feasible, the big problem has been wiping the memory.

    I have since determined that an invert + zero ie writing the logical opposite to the memory directly to force all cells to "11" then write all zeros is the most efficient way to erase flash memory for reuse in the field.

    Its gentler on the chips and if any fail this test then they get stripped down and recycled.

    Plus all the firmware updates can be added so that annoying b0rked sensor is fixed, from what I have learned the new iris sensor is similar but using better software and a dual rather than single colour sensor plus fluid lens to increase its focal depth.

    I also found evidence that many "new" SSDs are in fact repaired or reprogrammed units that failed initial tests at the factory, the bad chip replaced and sometimes even just the controller is upgraded with 2013 chips being upcycled and reused.

    The giveaway is that the speed will be much lower than a 2G V-NAND.

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