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Power Android Hardware Technology

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Batteries Are Being Recalled For Overheating Risk (theverge.com) 77

According to The Verge, over 10,000 batteries for the Galaxy Note 4 are being recalled for risk of overheating that could lead to burns or fires. Given last year's Note 7 fiasco, this recall sure doesn't sound good. It is, however, far more limited than the Note 7 recall and doesn't appear to be Samsung's fault. The Verge reports: Only phones refurbished through AT&T's insurance program and handled by FedEx Supply Chain are impacted by the recall. Some of the refurbished phones apparently ended up with "counterfeit" batteries that include anomalies that could make them overheat. Fortunately, the Note 4 has a replaceable battery, so this recall isn't as big of a deal. Owners can just buy a new battery to use in their phone until the recall is taken care of. FedEx is currently sending out replacement batteries as well as boxes for returning the recalled phones. "FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit," the spokesperson said. "The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung. Any affected owners should contact FedEx Supply Chain at 1-800-338-0163 or go online at www.exchangemybattery.com for more information." There's only been one report of a phone overheating and no damage to people or property because of it.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Batteries Are Being Recalled For Overheating Risk

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  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday August 17, 2017 @08:12AM (#55033449)

    Romeo and Juliet, Samsung and Delilah...ooh-ooh, FIRE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 17, 2017 @08:23AM (#55033489)

    Samsung batteries are not being recalled, Samsung had nothing to do with it. The headline is completely misleading and the summary doesn't do anything to dispel that until three sentences in. If anything it tries to reinforce that it's a "Samsung" problem before saying it's not. Try:

    "Counterfeit batteries for the Samsung Note 4 are being recalled"

    Or better yet:

    "AT&T and FedEx recall counterfeit batteries for Samsung Note 4"

    But neither of those are as click-baity.

  • by mrlinux11 ( 3713713 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @08:24AM (#55033497)
    Samsung should take from this that if the battery is user replaceable it is less costly to fix and maybe should go back to making phones with replaceable batteries
    • Samsung did take note. By making batteries non user replaceable they control the supply chain and this scenario of counterfeit batteries is avoided.

      It's a shame the facts of this case doesn't fit the narrative you want to apply.

      • It does fit, had the Note 7 batteries been replaceable they would not have had to recall all of those phones at 900 dollars a clip instead they could have sent out the 25 or 30 dollar battery.
        • False. Just like in this case where they are recalling dangerous batteries they still would have recalled the battery. Postage makes up some 75% of the cost of the recall.

          But since you missed the fact that we're now talking about the Note 4, and that it has a different failure mechanism to the Note 7 if you want to talk about both scenarios at once it just means that your post will be wrong regardless of how you spin it.

  • I never failed to get screwed when I got refurbished years ago, so I learned...better used than refurbished. Reason being, refurbished products typically are defective products under warranty so the customer typically gets a repaired tested refurbished device (new devices should be sent if under warranty but...especially with hard drives, you get items typically labeled "refurbished" or "reconditioned") and the warranty of course doesn't get a time reset. When it comes to refurbishing items, companies are n
    • There really are no moving parts or active components when it comes to a cell phone battery. It's just a block of goo enclosed in a bag. "Refurbished" probably means that the battery has passed tests that check to make sure the battery has most of its rated capacity, and isn't physically damaged. If you buy a "used" battery, you won't get either of those, and may be left with a battery that is almost as dead as the one you're replacing.

      Earlier this year, I bought a refurbished battery for my LG phone on Am
    • Nowadays when I buy Apple products, I pretty much always buy refurbished. You save 10-15 percent, and you get the new warranty. You can even buy the same extended warranty as a new product, at the same price, if you wish.

      I've had good luck with Apple's refurbished program.

  • by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @08:43AM (#55033601)
    No idea why manufacturers are so gung-ho on sealing the battery into the device. The Note 7 recall would have been far cheaper if users could have just removed the battery...
    • We all know why; they know that most people won't be arsed to replace it when it starts to go bad, letting them sell another incrementally 'improved' generation of crap.
      • The also save a few pennies on the BOM, so there's that too.
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        That may or may not be part of it - guaranteed obsolescence, but then again, that's pretty much guaranteed within 5 years anyways, if the damaged screens, cases or internals from dropping or soaking don't kill them first. It also allows more freedom in design, where it doesn't have to fit a cube of x dimensions with connectors on the wrong side. Just squeeze it into place, a little elasticity won't kill it, and done. Now if they would allow you to swap it out....
    • It's been discussed here a lot; apart from stinging your customers for replacement costs, there are actually some very good reasons - lower BoM and manufacturing costs, smaller volume (so thinner phone) for a given capacity plus potential for greater reliability even waterproofing (can have a hermetic case more easily if you glue it shut).

      Unfortunately actually getting all those benefits requires competent & like-minded bosses, marketeers, engineers and suppliers.
      (Of the sort that used to exist at Nokia

    • Because there is more profit gluing the device together so that every two years your battery life is so sucky you replace the phone (instead of just the battery).
    • It's the fight for the thinnest phone evar! Removable batteries require removable covers and latches, which adds to the phone's thickness.
      • I can't wait until we get a phone so thin that it snaps under its own weight. This whole "Thin phone" war needs to end... it's stupid.
    • Why? When the majority cost is in the shipping back and forth then the cost is similar. In any case if the batteries were sealed in the Note 4 we wouldn't have this problem as users would not have counterfeit batteries in their phones.

      • if the batteries were sealed in the Note 4 we wouldn't have this problem as users would not have counterfeit batteries in their phones.

        Touche. Though the first point I think is a bit off because it's missing the labor involved in replacing the battery in the returned units.

        • it's missing the labor involved

          You should check out a Chinese / Taiwanese factory before you think the labour quote is missing in the figure ;-)

          No seriously, the largest component cost of this would be the shipping from the USA back to the factory. Shipping from China / South Korea is subsidised so that cost is worn mostly by the USPS thanks to an ancient treaty.

    • Sure, Note 7 would have been cheaper if they could have swapped the batteries, but would it have been cheaper than gluing in the batteries in the entire Note product line? If you make all your devices with removable batteries, they all cost more money, are harder to waterproof, thicker, and customers can stick dodgy spares into them anyway. If you glue batteries in the entire line, sure, maybe you have one expensive recall, but does it cost more than not doing that? I've got no idea, but I think it's simpli

      • I don't see the fascination with having thin phones. I consider the S5 to be about as thing as I'd want a phone, though I'd prefer something more rugged still. This race for thin phones is ridiculous. I'm also not sure why we need waterproofed phones. As long as it survives use in the rain, that should be good.
        • I agree somewhat. But thin is nice if you're going to put a case on it. My wife went cheap on her latest phone, and it's noticeably thick once you put a decent case on it. The more expensive ones tend to not have that problem - I find my S7 with a case is a really nice thickness. Sure, you can also not put a case on your phone - I survived 3 years without one - but a case is not bad insurance.

          Likewise, the need for water-resistant phones is a bit of insurance, but that need is heavily dependent on

  • This is par for the course for Samsung, well-known for coming up with the hottest, most explosive handsets in the market.
  • by jedaustin ( 52181 ) on Thursday August 17, 2017 @10:00AM (#55034061) Homepage
    There are a ton of these counterfeit batteries for sale; even on reputable places like Amazon. I have a Note4 and since I can't tell the bad from the good ended up getting branded OEM batteries with good reviews instead of Samsung branded batteries. I've had zero issues with my OhmniPAX, Anker, or Powerbear batteries.

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