After a months-long investigation into why its Galaxy Note7 smartphones have been exploding, Samsung is set to announce what it claims to be the answer: The size of the batteries.
Samsung launched the Note7 in August of last year. Almost immediately, reports came in of the phones catching fire and exploding. Samsung issued a global recall of the phones only two weeks after the launch, with the Consumer Products Safety Commission issuing its own official recall on September 9. Samsung began issuing replacements, but the replacements began exploding as well. Airlines began banning Note7s, and one exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight. In October, Samsung permanently ended production of the Note7.
The investigation centered on the battery, but the investigation hit a snag when the replacement phones, with a different battery, began exploding.
The Note7 batteries were sourced from two manufacturers: its own Samsung SDI division and Hong Kong-based Amperex Technology Ltd. (ATL). The initial exploding phones were powered by the SDI batteries. ATL made the batteries for Note7s sold in China, which did not explode, so it was tapped to provide the batteries for the replacement phones. Those began exploding as well, within weeks.
For the replacement phones, the Wall Street Journal reports that the problem was a manufacturing defect due to the quick ramp-up in production. Samsung is reportedly focusing on quality control and testing of batteries in the future.