Samsung pins explosive Galaxy Note 7 on battery flaw

The company believes a manufacturing error may be to blame for the overheating batteries, which have led to a massive recall of its flagship phone.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
2 min read
Watch this: Samsung explains what went wrong with exploding Note 7 battery

A small manufacturing flaw in the Galaxy Note 7 battery may be the cause of a giant headache for Samsung.


Samsung's preliminary report has found a small manufacturing flaw in the Galaxy Note 7's battery. There have been at least 35 reported cases of the phone exploding.


The Korean technology powerhouse believes it's tracked down the reason why its flagship device has been exploding across the world, prompting a recall of more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s.

In its report to the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, Samsung's preliminary findings show a production error that pushed together negative and positive poles within battery cells, causing it to heat up excessively, the company said.

"It is a very rare manufacturing error," a Samsung spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The manufacturing flaw resulted in a disastrous launch for the Galaxy Note 7, with at least 35 reported cases of the smartphone exploding since its release August 19. The device has since been recalled around the world, with the US government formally urging owners to shut down the devices and stop charging them.

The Federal Aviation Administration has also warned Note 7 owners against using the smartphones on planes.

Samsung continues to dig into what exactly caused the battery explosions, but believes the production error is a contributing factor. The Note 7 had been hailed as a success, and had powerful momentum going head to head with Apple's iPhone 7 up until the explosions started.

Since then, the Note 7 has caused $1,400 in damages to an Australian hotel room. On Saturday, a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn, New York, had his hand burned from a Samsung Galaxy Core, CBS New York reported.

As the investigation continues, Samsung has offered to replace for free every Note 7, as a precaution to prevent any future explosions.

For its next batch of Note 7s, the company is planning to switch from its main supplier of batteries, its sister company Samsung SDI, to China's ATL, which is Apple's main supplier for iPhone batteries, according to ZDNet.

First published September 13, 8:18 a.m. PT
Update, September 14 at 1:34 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Samsung.
Correction, September 13 at 1:47 p.m. PT: The story previously misstated the model of the Samsung phone that burned a 6-year-old boy's hand in Brooklyn, New York. It was reportedly a Samsung Galaxy Core.