How can Samsung bounce back from the Note 7 fiasco?

Published October 26th, 2016 - 07:56 GMT
Samsung hasn’t offered a full discount for its volatile Note 7, and that wouldn’t have played well with millions of customers. (AFP/File)
Samsung hasn’t offered a full discount for its volatile Note 7, and that wouldn’t have played well with millions of customers. (AFP/File)

With its Galaxy Note 7 completed killed off, Samsung is relying on its Galaxy S7 edge and Galaxy S7 to keep the momentum running till it prepares to introduce its Galaxy S8. Unfortunately, in regaining the trust of both its investors and customers, Samsung has more than a mountain to climb. Instead of focusing just on improving its Galaxy S8, here’s how the company can really win back the trust of both of its consumer base and allow investors to return.

  • Samsung can choose to make its batteries removable to avoid further mishaps

  • Flagship phones with sealed batteries have become a common sight and the trend is ubiquitous for mid-rangers as well. While this definitely allows manufacturers to adopt a full-metal jacket build which not only increases durability but the aesthetics score as well, it presents a whirlpool of problems for users as well.

    Sure, at the end of the day, consumers always want a phone that’s pretty on the outside, but an exploding phone will make them run in the opposite direction as well. Plus, phones with sealed batteries will wear out their overall charge overtime, and replacing them is a costly procedure since you have to drive all the way to service centers for completion. If there isn’t a nearby service, then you’d best pray you have the right tools and have the skills necessary to carry out the battery replacement procedure in a sealed phone yourself.

    So far, LG has been following the norm of making phones with removable batteries and it’s an approach that we should give them complete respect for. It’s not often that you see high-end devices come with the option to expose the rear side of the smartphone and remove the battery at will. However, if Samsung does go through with this, it could present complications for both investors and customers. Immediate questions such as the following could pop up such as the following:

    “Why is Samsung going through with this now?

    Doesn’t it have faith in its own phones that it would resort to making batteries removable?

    Those batteries can definitely explode that’s why Samsung has gone with removable cells right?”

    A permutation of these questions will definitely be asked of Samsung, but in the grand scheme of things, the main objective is to win back the trust of customers, so such questions are just a storm that will eventually last for a few moments and its nothing the company’s ‘nerves of steel’ PR staff isn’t capable of handling.

    Tackling the original battery problem head-on

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According to sources close to the matter, Samsung is already seeking a partnership with its smartphone rival LG to provide it with batteries to avoid another Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. It was earlier reported that Samsung conducted battery tests in its own facilities, making the company the only one in the entire world to possess its own battery testing facilities

Unfortunately, another report claims that the company might have overlooked a few things in an attempt to announce its Galaxy Note 7 before the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which could suggest superficial battery tests being carried out in these facilities. With LG now entering the fold, Samsung might not have to conduct these battery tests on its own, which removes a lot of weight from the company’s shoulders. 

Re-writing its customer policies

For the most part, reports claim that Samsung knew the battery problems existed in its phone but refused to share the information with customers, thus presenting a safety hazard for users. Misinformed customers have a habit of using third party chargers with phones like the Galaxy Note 7, and on top of that, most of them charge them in areas where there is little to no airflow, such as a closed car. Such an environment is just begging your smartphone to transform into a grenade, which is exactly what happened, and it followed with a number of lawsuits too. However, these consumers also don’t have proper knowledge when it comes to safety hazards and indicators stamped on chargers and batteries.

As stated earlier, Samsung didn’t point out to customers that the batteries present inside the Note 7 could pose a safety hazard, which is why a large degree of transparency will be required from the company, especially when it is gearing up to announce its Galaxy S8 in the coming months. The company has already started working on the new smartphone’s software, and with rumors trotting around that the handset could come with a dual-camera, that’s certainly going to excite several consumers.

Discounts to make Galaxy S8 purchase easier

In markets where Samsung has placed an official presence, it would be a great move if the company incurred discounts on its Galaxy S8 to make the burden feel less painful on consumers willing to pay more for a flagship like this. Samsung has reported that it is going to introduce offers for former Note 7 owners, which means you will have to show proof of purchase that you were in possession of a Galaxy Note 7. Personally, while I believe that Samsung’s approach to appease consumers with discounts is the right decision, it should not just be limited to Galaxy Note 7 owners.

Remember, these owners spent $849 on a Galaxy Note 7, and in some regions where the phablet costs much more and not many consumers have sufficient disposable income, this will create a lot of problems for consumers. Samsung hasn’t specified if the discounts will be for those who have returned their Note 7 devices or those that are currently in possession, but we feel that such discounts should be made available for a larger public, such as those who also own a Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

Remember, Samsung hasn’t offered a full discount for its volatile Note 7, and that wouldn’t have played well with millions of customers. With its market value gone down the drain, being required to pay its suppliers the full amount for Galaxy Note 7 components and parts, refunding the complete amount to consumers is a loss that the company cannot bear to endure right now, so it’s coming up with the best possible remedy for you guys.

Customers who are afraid to get their hands on a Galaxy S8 will definitely be waiting for critics and hardcore reviewers to give their verdict on the device, and we know for a fact that there are going to be a series of rigorous tests where the battery is going to be stressed to the point where it comes close to exploding. Naturally, this is an area where Samsung isn’t going to let these actions get the better of it, so we can assume that safe batteries are going to be on the top of the company’s priorities.

Final thoughts

There’s no doubt that Samsung will want to maintain its grip on the Android smartphone market, which is why the announcement of its Galaxy S8 has been tipped for an earlier release date. The batteries are definitely one of the most volatile components in a smartphone, so after the crushing reports we’ve had to read about, Samsung would definitely want to avoid another storm like this, unless of course it wants to commit suicide for its smartphone division. So for now, we’ve covered a few pointers that Samsung will need to tackle if it wants its army of customers and investors back on its side.

  • Flagship phone with a removable battery (possibly not, but Samsung’s going to be extra careful now)
  • Transparency with consumers regarding quality control
  • Reviewing battery quality before mass production
  • Providing attractive discounts on its Galaxy S8 (discounts can be made further appealing if not limited to just former Galaxy Note 7 owners)

With these pointers, we feel that they will provide the stepping stones that will allow Samsung to regain the trust of healthy critics, customers and of course one of the most important financial elements to the company’s survival, its investors. If you believe there are other things Samsung should be working on, then you can tell us what you think freely. 

By Muhammad Omer 
 
 

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