Samsung Electronics Co. on Monday pinned down battery defect as the cause of overheating and explosion in the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 after three-month extensive investigation jointly with U.S. and German experts and apologized for oversight in ensuring component safety.
“We experimented with charging and recharging on 200,000 phones and 30,000 batteries and discovered that the batteries by both two suppliers caused damages to the phone for different reasons,” said Koh Dong-jin, president of the company’s mobile communications business in Seoul headquarters Monday.
At 10:38 a.m. Seoul trading Monday, shares of Samsung Electronics were up 13,000 won at 1,873,000 won.
Although he did not specifically name the suppliers, Samsung SDI Co. is known to have supplied more than 60 percent of the batteries powering Galaxy Note7 and the rest by China’s Amperex Technology Ltd. (ATL) in earlier batches.
The batteries in replacement phones that also reported of catching fire were primarily provided by ATL. Samsung Electronics since then stopped and discontinued the phone.
“We have probed the hardware and software design and looked into every aspect from design, manufacturing to distribution and storage over the last several months,” Koh said.
“We installed massive-scale charging and discharging facility to replay the combustion that consumers experienced to identify the exact cause,” he said.
Foreign institutions that separately scrutinized the phone also reached similar conclusion.
U.S. safety certification company UL pointed to thin separation component in the Samsung SDI battery and also discovered defect in separation film in ATL battery.
Another U.S. agency Exponent reached similar finding. Both did not find any cause for overheating in the phone itself.
Some outside experts had suspected problem in hardware design with too many functions and chips crammed into the phone that had wowed consumers with innovative iris scanning technology as well as other cutting-edge features.
Koh, however, said the handset maker should be fully responsible for having failed to ensure safety of the key battery component.
The pullout of its latest flagship smartphone had caused Samsung Electronics losses of over $5 billion.
The company, however, reported staggering operating profit of near $8 billion in the fourth quarter thanks to surge in memory chips.