Samsung pushed suppliers to meet tighter deadlines for an earlier launch of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 after hearing that the iPhone 7 would have no major design changes, according to a new report published today.

The Bloomberg report cites multiple sources indicating that executives at Samsung saw rumors of Apple's apparent lack of innovation this year as an opportunity, and quickly approved a slew of new features for the Note 7 after getting hold of an early version of the device.

applevsamsung
According to one person familiar with the matter, the select group of top managers "gushed over the upgrades and praised each other's work", and approved a launch date 10 days earlier than last year. Samsung's unveiling was August 3 this year, compared with August 13 in 2015.

As the launch date approached, employees at Samsung and suppliers stretched their work hours and made do with less sleep. Though it’s not unusual to have a scramble, suppliers were under more pressure than usual this time around and were pushed harder than by other customers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. One supplier said it was particularly challenging to work with Samsung employees this time, as they repeatedly changed their minds about specs and work flow. Some Samsung workers began sleeping in the office to avoid time lost in commuting, the supplier said. Samsung declined to comment on whether deadlines were moved, reiterating that products are only introduced after proper testing.

When the phones got into customers' hands, reports of exploding handsets began. According to Bloomberg, executives at Samsung headquarters were in shock. Internally, there was a debate over whether to do a full-blown recall or to take less dramatic steps, like a battery replacement program. In the end, Samsung mobile chief decided on a full recall.

Samsung has drawn criticism for the steps it took next. Apparently driven by good intentions, the company announced the recall plans publicly before working out how millions of consumers in 10 countries would actually get replacements.

Then it sent mixed signals about what customers should do. First, Samsung told people to shut off their phones and stop using them. A few days later, it offered a software patch to prevent batteries from overheating, signaling consumers could keep using the phones.

But Samsung moved so fast it got ahead of regulators who help organize such programs. In the U.S. for example, companies are supposed to notify the Consumer Product Safety Commission within 24 hours of uncovering problems. Instead, Samsung went public on its own and consumers didn't have clear guidance on how to exchange their phones.

Asked to confirm that launch deadlines for the Note 7 were shifted, Samsung told Bloomberg that release dates are determined by "the proper completion of the development process and the readiness of the product for the market."

Meanwhile sales of Apple's iPhone 7 appear to have exceeded analysts' expectations, particularly demand for the larger 7 Plus, which was all but sold out across the globe on launch day. The company's choice of black handset color options has also piqued interest among consumers, despite concerns about the lack of a headphone jack on the new devices.

You can read more of the Bloomberg story here.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

FFR Avatar
64 months ago
"The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was more explicit when his agency announced an official recall on Thursday. He said the phone’s battery was slightly too big for its compartment and the tight space pinched the battery, causing a short circuit. “Clearly, they missed something,” said Anthea Lai, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “They were rushing to beat Apple and they made a mistake.”"

So a design flaw.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
64 months ago
Blindly driven by good intentions
I think "profits" was misspelled as "good intentions".
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Telos101 Avatar
64 months ago
Samsung has had fridges explode (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-44470) and washing machines start fires (http://abc11.com/news/consumers-claim-some-samsung-washing-machines-explode/1056429/) but sure, blame the “dull” iPhone and talk about Samsung’s reputation of high quality products.

Poor journalism.
Lol, the Bloomberg report cites multiple sources and internal memos.

Go back to bed.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fitshaced Avatar
64 months ago
Battery too big for the compartment? Try removing the headphone jack.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Legend of Ive Avatar
64 months ago
I don't know why anyone in the right night would buy a Samsung phone. The software is ****, if you're going to buy an android, go buy a nexus. You get 2 years software update.

Samsung is beats on steroids, they charge you flagship price the drop you support after a year
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
64 months ago
This event is likely to tarnish Samsung's reputation for some time and one of the reasons it'd take something special for me not buy an Apple device. Boring or not, I'd rather something that is reliable and has been appropriately tested before shipping.

If you're tempted to cite touch-gate, iPhone 4 signal, and bending phone issues as being proof that Apple's QA has slipped, that's nowhere near comparable to exploding phones.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...