If you're reading this on a Galaxy Note 7, you're quite brave. As fans of phones that aren't on fire will recall, Samsung spent the back half of 2016 dealing with a little problem: its phones kept exploding.
Following months of investigation, Samsung has now formally announced the cause of the highly publicized Note 7 issue. "For the last several months, together with independent industry expert organizations, we conducted thorough investigation to find cause to the Galaxy Note7 incidents," DJ Koh, Samsung Electronics' boss of Mobile Communications Business, said Monday. "Today, more than ever, we are committed to earning the trust of our customers through innovation that redefines what is possible in safety, and as a gateway to unlimited possibilities and incredible new experiences."
The issue, Samsung announced during a press conference in Seoul Monday, stemmed from "separate factors that originated in and were specific to the two different batteries" present in the devices recalled last year:
In Battery A, a negative electrode in the upper-right corner was deflected. Specifically, the electrode was incorrectly placed in the curve and not the planar area. In a properly functioning version of Battery A, the electrode is (of course) not deflected. In Battery B, a welding defect caused the insulation tape and separator to be penetrated. This penetration resulted in direct contact between the negative electrode and the positive tab. Additionally, multiple batteries were missing insulation tape entirely.
Though details on the company's previous quality control methods were not discussed at the press conference, Wired reported that Koh closed out the event by taking full responsibility for the Note 7's troubled release. "We are taking responsibility for our failure to identify the issues arising out of the battery design and manufacturing process prior to the launch of the Note 7," Koh said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall, NBC News added, covered an estimated 1.9 million phones in the United States alone. Globally, Samsung says that 96 percent of the total 3 million devices sold have now been successfully returned.