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United States Hardware

Samsung is Setting Up Note 7 Exchange Booths at Airports Around the World (theverge.com) 46

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung is setting up Galaxy Note 7 exchange booths in airports around the world, hoping to stop customers taking the dangerous device onto flights at the last minute. The first of these new "customer service points" appear to have been introduced in South Korean airports, but Samsung has confirmed the booths are opening in airports across Australia, with reports of the desks appearing in the US as well. The booths are located in "high-traffic terminals" before security screening, says Samsung, and allow Note 7 owners to swap their phone for an unspecified exchange device. According to a report from ABC7News in San Francisco -- where a Samsung exchange desk has appeared at the city's international airport -- employees for the tech company are on hand to help customers transfer their data onto a new phone.
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Samsung is Setting Up Note 7 Exchange Booths at Airports Around the World

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  • Not a bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TwentyCharsIsNotEnou ( 1255582 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @12:41PM (#53101563)
    This way a lot of people will just accept the ease of quickly getting a Samsung replacement, and not wander off and buy another brand.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Too late I bought a Blackberry!

    • This way Samsung might be able to mitigate a large amount of liability if one of their phones sets an airplane on fire, by saying the consumer walked right past an upgrade station.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Not a bad idea. This way a lot of people will just accept the ease of quickly getting a Samsung replacement, and not wander off and buy another brand.

      It's mostly to lessen a PR nightmare, the Samsung Note 7 is now a prohibited item. So if you have been totally oblivious and try to bring one through security control you'll basically get the choice to not pass and miss some probably important and expensive flight/trip or to quite literally throw the phone away. These shops mean that if you had a good time buffer getting to the airport you can make a "Hail Mary" save by running off to the Samsung booth, get a replacement and still catch your plane. I doubt

      • by torkus ( 1133985 )

        Yup. Airport security is definitely stopping to examine every cell phone.

        Or not.

        In fact not at all. I just took several flights in the last 2 weeks and the only thing they do is make an announcement on the plane.

        No one in the airport world of security and service noticed my Note 7 or asked a single question about anyone's phone.

  • and how safe will the storage bin be for the old phones?

    Well the airplane may not go down in flames but we can take out an full airport when the stack of old phones goes up in flames hell the phone to phone copy may just be what triggers one phone and then rest fall like dominos.

    • Don't worry - they'll store it with all the caution and security that is afforded to liquid filled bottles of greater than 3 oz which could be high explosives at the airport.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @12:48PM (#53101617)

    Time to stop super thin phones and fixed batteries.

    What is so hard about making it so you can swap the battery out?

    • The problem with interchangeable batteries is that you lose some of the water-tight seal (not to mention the lock on the customers).

    • by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @12:58PM (#53101705) Homepage

      When you can create a design with a user-replaceable battery that is equal or better than a fixed battery phone for all of the following:

      1. Weight
      2. Thickness
      3. Battery life
      4. Waterproofness
      5. Cover never falls off
      6. Battery itself is sufficiently armored so as to be safe in an average hand bag or pocket

      then patent the design & retire comfortably.

      Until then, it’s hard. Stop playing armchair phone designer & materials scientist.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Let's see, 1 and 2 are distractions because half the outrage about phones (on Slashdot at least) is that they are too fragile, thicker heavier construction would improve this.
        3 is inevitable because even if initial battery life is only 90% that of a fixed battery, replacement batteries result in such a device still having 80-90% of a theoretical fixed battery solution when the actual fixed battery device has been worn to a 40% charge capacity.
        4 is a fairly new development in phones, but if you can make a wa

      • The only even remotely challenging item there is thickness.

        If 1mm of thickness is worth owning a device more or less guaranteed to fail after 3-4 years, you've got some issues my friend.

    • What is so hard about making it so you can swap the battery out?

      Let it go. User replaceable batteries aren't coming back any time soon for most smartphones. That battle is lost.

      What is so hard about making it so you can swap the battery out?

      Off the top of my head, it's more expensive, make quality control more difficult, it requires the handset maker to allow third party batteries possibly of dubious quality, it is more difficult to make water and dust proof, very few users actually swap their batteries, it doesn't solve problems of bad control electronics, it makes the phones thicker, it makes the phones uglier, and it it doesn't

      • Let it go. User replaceable batteries aren't coming back any time soon for most smartphones. That battle is lost.

        I don't believe it for a second. fads come and go. when people hunger for more talk-time and less 'omg, gotta go charge my phone!' they will be voting with their dollars and any vendor making swappable battery phones will get their business.

        phone fashions are like fads and they come and go. we are TOLD that we demand waterproofness and thin phones but I'm not sure I ever met anyone who DEMANDE

        • I don't believe it for a second. fads come and go. when people hunger for more talk-time and less 'omg, gotta go charge my phone!' they will be voting with their dollars and any vendor making swappable battery phones will get their business.

          The handset makers could easily double or more the battery life by making the battery in the phone bigger. They also can sell you a USB external battery pack that serves exactly the same purpose as swapping the battery. Why would any of the big handset makers bother with the numerous problems of swappable batteries when they can simply put a better or bigger battery into the phone or get you to buy an external battery pack that accomplishes exactly the same goal? Swappable batteries will not come in to t

  • by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @12:57PM (#53101691)
    An old boss of mine said "If you had time to do it a second time, you had enough time to do it right the first time".

    While not a direct statement to what Samsung is going through, I do hope that the costs of:
    • Lost sales/refunds for the original device
    • Lost sales/refunds for the replacement device
    • R&D for the creation of both devices
    • Loss of reputation and related lost sales
    • Sunk cost in replacement devices (be they samsung or other)
    • Cost of setting up replacement booths and paying technician salaries (and rental space in an airport)

    is enough to make them look closer at what design stupidity they tried to get away with and stop with their nonsense. The consensus on Slashdot and other tech sites I visit seems to be "Give me a phone that I'm not afraid is going to break and goes longer than 8 hours between charges", neither of which are easily done with this race to paper-thin.

    Samsung, take note. People like replaceable batteries. They like slightly thicker, stronger phones that don't feel like they are going to snap in half when you take them out of your pocket. People like being able to take their phone through an entire day of whatever, without worrying about recharging in the middle. You guys have the 10nm fab going, start getting better batteries and working on energy efficient phones. I don't care if a web site takes 0.05 seconds longer to load, I'd probably blame my cell providers network anyway.

    • Samsung, take note. People like replaceable batteries.

      A few geeks like replaceable batteries. Most people don't give them a moment's thought and never swapped them even when it was an option. Furthermore there are both advantages and disadvantages to swappable batteries. It's not a simple equation and the economics of them from the handset's perspective clearly favor sealed batteries. I like swappable batteries too but they aren't something most people give a crap about and they aren't likely to come back any time soon.

      People keep mentioning user swappable

    • An old boss of mine said "If you had time to do it a second time, you had enough time to do it right the first time".

      That shows a gross ignorance of the probability tradeoff involved here. Just because recall expenses for one product exceeded the marginal design cost to "get it right the first time" doesn't mean that's the most cost-effective way to design everything. The ideal production point isn't to design and manufacture everything so you never have to do a recall. It's to build stuff so that most

    • Samsung, take note. People like replaceable batteries

      Really? Because just earlier today we were talking about 1 in 2 people switching to iPhones.

      PEOPLE don't like replaceable batteries. A subset of Slashdot users do. PEOPLE in the grand scheme of things couldn't give a shit. I have a phone with a replaceable battery and I couldn't care less. It simply does not even remotely factor into most people's decision

      Samsung IS taking note, and the notes they took down was that no one cared.

      • I remember the ancient days when laptops came with two battery bays so that a person could exchange one battery while the other kept the laptop running. While at university I remember there being a charging station for the spare batteries so that the staff could charge up a handful of batteries so the laptop wouldn't die on them while they were working away from their desk.

        Later on CD-ROM drives became a thing and people had the option of pulling out the drive to make room for a second battery. I don't re

        • I remember the ancient days when laptops came with two battery bays so that a person could exchange one battery while the other kept the laptop running.

          I remember needing that back when my battery would last 2 hours. Now my battery lasts the entire day, is non removable and I couldn't care for the facility to replace it either.

          Your observations are right. Replacing batteries is a pain. Carrying replacement batteries is pain. Nowadays I see USB outlets everywhere. Train stations, pubs, hell if you get super stuck walk into any old crappy electronics store and buy a USB charging battery, they even come shaped like pokeballs now (for obvious reasons).

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @01:06PM (#53101777) Homepage
    while most service kiosks tend to blend in with their surroundings at major airports, the Samsung kiosks are refreshingly easy to locate. Just follow the acrid white smoke, blinding light, and searing heat. if you see a cinnabon, or the local fire department, youve passed it.
  • A phone with a stuck stylus and no SD, and and now a burning one.

    Just whip up a new phone throw it over the fence with no QA testing. Are they going to be surprised when Huawei takes it away from them?

    • You know I think it is kind of a dumb/missed opportunity for these phone manufactures. Make a line of 'classic' bricky phones where people liked the ergonomics and use up to date chips/battery.
    • Quite happy with my Galaxy Note 3 as well, though I really wish they would at least update the OS to Marshmallow, so I can tell the Facebook/Messenger Apps where they can shove their request for my location.

      People keep saying that the iPhone 7 is the competition to the Galaxy Note 7... I think people don't understand what the "Note" part of the name refers to. Here's a hint, something none of the iPhones do.
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2016 @02:27PM (#53102555)

    Please hand your Samsung Note 7 to the technician [med-eng.com] at the counter.

  • So passengers should bring their explosive cell phones directly to the airport? I feel safer already.
  • Let's take a moment and look at a company that is really doing right. I've been incredibly impressed with the way that Samsung has handled this situation, given the amount it will cost them. The vast majority of companies (e.g., Toyota brake systems, Apple iPhone batteries, XBox power issues) would continully deny the existence of a problem right up until the recall and then do the absolute minimum necessary. The fact that Samsung is going above and beyond what it would take to limit their liability should
    • by Lehk228 ( 705449 )
      I think it has more to do with the fact that if a note 7 catches fire and crashes a plane, Samsung will no longer exist.
    • I quite agree. The first time I read about this was when Samsung themselves proactively did the recall, and started the whole process. It was after that that I started seeing the reports of burning or exploding phones.

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