Samsung Cites ‘Irregularly Sized’ Batteries As Source Of Galaxy Note 7 Explosions

At long last, we have some details on why exactly some of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 devices were prone to overheating and catching fire, including replacement handsets that used batteries from a different manufacturer. Samsung has completed its investigation and determined that irregularly sized battery packs were to blame in many cases, while problems in manufacturing affected others.

These details have not yet been made public from Samsung—the South Korean handset maker will hold a press conference on Monday to talk about the defects. However, The Wall Street Journal received word early and while the battery was suspected to be the culprit all along, this is the first time that a reasonable explanation has been given as to why.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Getting to this point was not easy. After reports of some first-run Galaxy Note 7 devices exploding and causing both property damage and personal harm, Samsung scrambled to replace the handsets with ones that used a different battery pack. The first-run models had batteries produced by Samsung SDI, while the replacement phones used batteries that were manufactured by Japanese firm TDK.

Unfortunately for Samsung, swapping out the battery did not solve the problem. Some users of replacement handsets still complained of their Galaxy Note 7 overheating and catching fire. In one instance, a replacement phone charred the floor of a grounded Southwest Airlines plane. Before issuing a global recall, Samsung had received complaints of 92 overheating incidents in the U.S. alone, including 26 reports of burn injuries and 55 incidents involving damage to property.

Samsung will be happy to move on from this once and for all. It is estimated that the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco will end up costing the company $5 billion, though fortunately for Samsung, it has been able to weather the financial storm. Going forward, it can focus on its upcoming Galaxy S8 handset.