Samsung's bid to outshine iPhone tied to Note 7 battery crisis

Samsung reportedly accelerated the launch of the Note 7, hoping it would make the iPhone 7 seem boring in comparison.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

The Galaxy Note has endured a hot, fiery mess of a launch.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Samsung has fallen victim to the old problem of more haste, less speed in rushing to release the Note 7, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The company's battery crisis, which has forced it to recall all early shipments of the Note 7, was caused by internal pressure to beat Apple to the launch of the newest iPhone.

Hearing rumors that Apple's latest device was set to be underwhelming, Samsung's head honchos pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines, reported Bloomberg, citing "people familiar with the matter."

Accelerating the launch of the Note 7, which is packed with cutting-edge features including an iris scanner and a wrap-around screen, would help Samsung to prove that Apple had fallen behind in the innovation stakes.

Samsung did indeed manage to schedule the launch earlier in the year than usual, but at a cost. The launch has been beleaguered by battery problems that have seen multiple devices catching fire. Even the US government has stepped in to tell people the phones should be returned and the FAA has banned them from being taken on planes.

Chinese retailer JD.com revealed on Monday that Samsung is carrying out an internal review to discover exactly what caused the faults that have caused Note 7 devices to burst into flames, Reuters reported.

The company has also kicked off its exchange program today in the UK, in which it will swap any potentially dangerous Note 7s sold from early batches for safe devices. The exchange program will also roll out in other countries, including the US, in coming days.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.