Remember when we reported Samsung’s inability to come up a use for the 4.3 million dumped Note7 phones? The crisis began when their flagship phones started bursting into flames just a few weeks into their arrival in the market, and just like that scores of complaints started to pour in about the flammable phone costing damage to life and limb. Suffering from one of the worst public relations disasters in the recent history, Samsung finally decided to pull the plug and ordered a mass recall of the phones, offering incentives to the angry customers and issuing apology statements.
In a press statement that soon followed, Samsung claimed:
“There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process, so it was very difficult to figure out. It will cost us so much it makes my heart ache. Nevertheless, the reason we made this decision is because what is most important is customer safety.”
But with this “heart aching” decision came another problem; what to do with all the recalled phones? Surely they couldn’t refurbish them and sell them again, although surprisingly a small number of people have done that with their Note 7s.
But the latest reports show that Samsung has finally found a way to put the trouble makers to use, which first featured in an ad showing Samsung’s phone torture lab where hundreds and thousands of phones were seen being tested to their limits.
This was a PR repair bid to win back the trust of their customers in anticipation of the Samsung Galaxy 8 phones released on 30th March. But now it has become clearer that the testing lab was actually a quality assurance line for testing the incoming Galaxy 8 models. Note7 phones are also being used directly in the manufacturing process, with their cameras being used to keep an eye on a bank of charging phones. Obviously, Samsung had the good sense to first replace their batteries with a much lower-powered model.
Mashable‘s Pete Pachal elaborates on this,
“As Samsung took me and some other journalists on a tour of the company’s smartphone factory and battery testing facility in Gumi, just outside of Seoul, South Korea, we saw several parts of the company’s new eight-point battery check, created in the wake of the Note 7 debacle and subsequent recall.“One of these is the charging/discharging test, which does exactly what it says. Rows and rows of Galaxy S8 phones, each with a USB cable connected, alternately charge up and charge down, as cameras look on. But those cameras are actually smartphones, and those smartphones – at least the ones in Gumi – happen to be Galaxy Note 7s.”