It’s finally over.
After continuing to sell replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones for weeks despite even more reports of fires and explosions, Samsung has decided to end production of the phone for good.
It’s a late move, but it’s ultimately the right one.
But there’s more work to be done if Samsung wants to be taken seriously the next time it launches a major new phone, and it stems from the lack of transparency from Samsung throughout this entire debacle. We still have no idea what caused the Note 7 to overheat, explode, or catch fire, and until we do, it’s going to be impossible to trust future products from the company.
Samsung bungled the Note 7 controversy from the beginning. When it recalled the phone the first time, Samsung said it was an issue with the battery, which was replaced in new Note 7s sold after September 15. Samsung said those replacement phones were safe to use.
Within a few weeks, we learned that wasn’t the case, as stories of replacement phones overheating and smoking continued to pile up. Most notably, a Southwest Airlines flight had to be evacuated last week when a replacement Note 7 overheated and filled the plane’s cabin with smoke.
Following the Southwest incident, Samsung continued to stick by its story that the Note 7 was safe to use. In fact, as late as Monday afternoon, just hours before the company formally ended production, a Samsung spokesperson told Business Insider the Note 7 was safe to charge.
That should never have happened. Instead of thoroughly investigating what went wrong, Samsung quickly released another version of the Note 7 with the same defect.
There’s only one out for Samsung to salvage what’s left of its reputation: Come clean about what went wrong with the Note 7, admit the mistake, and prove that the problem has been fixed and won’t affect future devices from the company.
The Note 7 debacle has already wiped about $18 billion from Samsung’s value and caused the company to miss an estimated $17 billion in revenue. Samsung has clearly paid its price. But until there’s more transparency about what happened with the Note 7, that price is only going to get higher.
This is an editorial. The opinions and conclusions expressed above are those of the author.
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