Categories: News

“Aggressive Design” Caused Galaxy Note 7 Problems

Samsung has been inundated with reports about the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire which severely damaged the company’s reputation. Despite issuing a product recall and sending out the second batch, the replacements suffered a similar fate. This was an embarrassing situation for Samsung and it’s cost them a considerable amount of money. According to a lengthy teardown, it appears the design decisions pushed the boundaries too far at the expense of reliability. The report argues:

“Looking at the design, Samsung engineers were clearly trying to balance the risk of a super-aggressive manufacturing process to maximize capacity, while attempting to protect it internally.”

“A smaller battery using standard manufacturing parameters would have solved the explosion issue and the swell issue. But, a smaller battery would have reduced the system’s battery life below the level of its predecessor, the Note 5, as well as its biggest competitor, the iPhone 7 Plus. Either way, it’s now clear to us that there was no competitive salvageable design,”

Interestingly, the analysis claims that even if the explosions didn’t occur, the Note 7 would begin to experience battery swelling. Selecting a smaller battery would have solved the swelling issue and prevented any explosions. However, this would have made the battery life worse than the previous model and Samsung wasn’t willing to compromise. The paper goes on to discuss the tiny margin of thickness at under 0.1mm and CNC-machined pocket to protect the battery from being touched by other components. Unfortunately, the Note 7’s revolutionary design was flawed and probably made Samsung re-evaluate their design strategy.

John Williamson

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