October 10, 2016
Samsung could find its reputation going up in flames
Many technology-related news sites like to play up rivalries between companies. Microsoft vs. Google. Facebook vs. Snapchat. Apple vs. Samsung.
Check the comments sections on these sites, and you’ll see that readers often get caught up in it — choosing one side or another. They become particularly incensed about comparisons between Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy line.
But in the case of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, there are few defenders. After batteries in the original caught fire, Samsung assured us this was a glitch, that the safety of customers was paramount, and that it would issue free replacements.
Now there are reports the replacements are also catching fire.
When The Verge reported that another U.S. phone company had stopped issing Galaxy Note 7 replacements, one reader responded: “Samsung is like the tech industry’s Donald Trump.”
Seems like a low blow, but it’s close to the truth. Samsung rushed a product to market without proper quality control, and now the whole company will suffer.
Ina Fried writes for Recode:
Samsung needs to quickly shift its attention from trying to resuscitate this phone to salvaging its company’s reputation.
Many people hearing about this debacle are going to be left with the idea that Samsung can’t be trusted, and will be hesitant to buy any of its products. Samsung has halted sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 globally, but has said precious little to allay our concerns.
“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device,” the company said.
Not exactly inspiring.
Fried also points out that, despite what billions of dollars in Samsung marketing might have you believe, that are plenty of other choices if you’re looking for an Android-based phone.
Respected sites such as Ars Techica actually have headlines saying “don’t buy a Galaxy Note 7.” They feel it’s their duty to issue this advice as a way of protecting their readers. They helpfully provide a list of alternatives. Among them is the iPhone from Samsung’s biggest rival, Apple.
In recent years, iPhone fans have sided with Apple in its accusations that Samsung has blatantly copied many of the iPhone’s features. After a Galaxy Note 7 caught fire on a Southwest Airlines plane, some joked that owners of these phones should be reqired to take separate flights. But few, I would hope, see anything funny about people being placed at risk of injury.