The world’s biggest smartphone maker Samsung blamed faulty batteries a week ago for the fires that hit its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device last year, as it sought to draw a line under the humiliating recall.
At a press conference in Seoul, company officials said exhaustive tests run on 200,000 Note7s and 30,000 batteries ruled out any problems with the device’s hardware or software.
Samsung said that in case of the original battery, the casing was too small, resulting in a short-circuit. The battery that replaced it addressed that problem, but it had a different manufacturing defect that led to the same result.
Following the investigation, Samsung has implemented several internal processes to enhance safety, including multi-layer safety measures and eight-point battery safety check, said the company statement.
“We are committed to earning the trust of our customers through innovation that redefines what is possible in safety,” said DJ Koh, president, mobile communications business, Samsung Electronics.
Samsung has since embarked on a campaign to restore its battered reputation, issuing repeating apologies and putting full-page advertisements in US newspapers, admitting it “fell short” on its promises.
Analysts said Samsung was looking to move on through the announcement, which did not implicate other devices.
“Consumers tend to be forgiving the first time,” said Tom Kang, research director at Counterpoint Technology. “But if it happens again, it will leave a lasting mark on Samsung’s quality and brand image.”
Samsung had concentrated on innovative design, thinness and battery capacity rather than safety, he said.