Explosive reaction calls for recall

Small battery causes big problem in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung has had a rough month since the Aug. 19 release of its new phone, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which is said to have exploded at least 112 times in different instances.

The most extreme case happened locally on a connecting flight from Norfolk International Airport to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, when a Virginian-Pilot reporter witnessed a cell phone battery smoking on the Delta-based flight.

Although it was not confirmed that the battery was in a Note 7, Delta did release an official comment.

“During ascent from Norfolk International Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the flight attendants of Delta flight 2557 observed smoke in the rear portion of the aircraft. They acted quickly to immediately dissipate the smoke. It quickly became evident that the source of the smoke was from a spare battery not affixed to a device. Delta is working to determine the source and type of the battery and will work with aviation safety officials. The flight, with 143 customers and five crew members, routinely continued to Atlanta. Safety is always Delta’s top priority.”

The cause of the explosive device is said to be the lithium ion batteries placed within most smartphones.  Liquid inside these batteries  is protected by a thin plastic sheet that keeps the positive and negative sides of battery separate. In the defective phones, this sheet is punctured and creates a path of least resistance for electricity to flow. When the liquid begins to heat, it can cause a chemical reaction and thus an explosion.

Several airlines internationally have banned the phones completely. These large international airline companies include: Emirates Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Quantis Airlines.
Sophomore Asia Blackwood, an iPhone user, expressed her frustration.

“We invest so much in these products, and for it to go wrong to this extent bothers me.” Blackwood said.

Blackwood also said that while she understands how a loyal Android user would stay or go, she says that she would stop supporting the company.

“It’s important that before you put out the product, you work through every glitch to make sure it’s sound. You gotta be careful and you have [to] make sure you get through all the kinks before you put a series of phones out. Because it’s not just one phone that had the issue,” Blackwood said.

Junior Atrayeau Ward, an avid Samsung Galaxy Note user, says he plans to stick with the company.

“I’ve had the Note 3, Note 4, Note 5. Right now, I have the Galaxy 6 edge and I would like to go back to the Note,” Ward said.

Ward also said that he would like to stick to a phone that he’s familiar with and he doesn’t mind the exploding battery issue.

“I don’t really care too much about it. It’s only gonna be this way for a short while and it’s not like they aren’t gonna fix it,” Ward said.

Samsung did release an update on the federally-mandated recall of over one million phones stating that more than 60 percent of phones that were bought in the U.S. and South Korea have been exchanged and that 90 percent of consumers got an even exchange for a new Note 7 instead of an alternate Samsung model or a refund.

Chris Battle

(Image: Val Miller | Marlin Chronicle)