Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 is no more. After a number of unplanned combustions, including a few post-recall devices, Samsung has given up on it entirely. This is a wise move. Better to fix the problem for the next version and pretend this never happened. Other than the 1/3 cut to revenue that they predict. That’ll probably be a reminder for a while.
I’m really interested to see how Samsung’s brand recovers from this. On the one hand, they’re clearly the leader in high-end Android devices (full disclosure: my current phone is a Galaxy Note 4 and I really like it). They seem to be the only mainstream manufacturer that can compete with Apple. On the other hand, exploding phones are pretty unprecedented. To my knowledge, the Galaxy Note 7 is the only phone to ever be specifically mentioned in airline safety briefs.
Samsung as a whole will be okay, unless it turns out the board and executives were pushing for the Galaxy Note 7 to be mini-bombs. Even the smartphone division will probably recover, though they may have to pull some extra tricks out of the bag to regain consumer trust. I would not be surprised if the Galaxy Note 7 is the last device to carry the “Galaxy Note” name. “Galaxy” may be retired as well, even though the Galaxy S and Galaxy Edge devices have no history of combustion.
I’ve had my phone for less than a year, so barring an accident, I won’t be replacing it for another 18-24 months or more. The Galaxy Note line has a lot of features I like, and I figured whenever it was time to replace my phone, I’d go with the current of that line. Depending on what Samsung does over the next year, I may have to reconsider.
As I sat down at my desk Monday morning, I found myself being very thankful I don’t work for Samsung right now. I can market my company’s software because I know it does awesome things. Even though it has some bugs, as all software does, they’re not going to burn anyone’s house down. I can’t imagine trying to promote products when your company is associated with exploding phones in the public’s mind.