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CPSC looking into other Samsung smartphones for potential battery problems

Amid reports of battery-related fires for other Samsung phones, the CPSC says it will be looking into these reports to see if Samsung’s battery problems go beyond the Note 7.

Published onSeptember 16, 2016

samsung galaxy note 7 unboxing aa (16 of 27)

We knew this one was probably coming. With the Note 7 in the news for all the wrong reasons, the media and consumers have come out of the woodwork to report any and all incidents involving fire and device failure on part of Samsung devices. That’s not surprising, but it isn’t just Samsung’s recalled phablet getting the spotlight shone on it.

With a growing number of reports about battery problems with other Samsung phones, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is taking its investigation beyond the Note 7.

You might recall the recent incident of the boy that was injured by an exploding Samsung phone that was originally identified as the Note 7 but later confirmed to be a lower-end Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. That’s not the only such report, however. There was also a video of a woman who had her Galaxy S7 burst into flames at a cafe, a man whose car caught fire while charging a Galaxy S7, and at least a few other reported incidents involving other phones such as the Galaxy S6.

Samsung has a perception problem, and it’s bigger than the Note 7

According to the CPSC, they will be looking into these other reports to see if Samsung’s battery problems go beyond the Note 7. For Samsung’s part, they issued a statement to ABC News totally refuting the possibility that their problems extend beyond the Note. “Recent reports suggesting Samsung’s battery issue goes beyond the Galaxy Note7 are not true.” Further Samsung says, “The battery cell issue announced earlier this month is isolated to one battery manufacturer for one specific phone model.”

So should you turn off your Samsung phone and head for the hills (note aside)? In a word, no. Without further investigation we can’t concretely say that the Samsung doesn’t have a bigger battery issue, but we think the explanation for these outside reports can be explained pretty simply: hysteria.

A quick Google search of just about any smartphone model will turn up at least a few reports of battery explosions. Unfortunately, all mobile gadgets have at least some small measure of risk when it comes to battery-related fires, it’s just typically such a tiny level of risk that it’s not worth losing sleep over. But when the media has put a big target on your company’s back? Any and all similar sounding incidents are going to draw a lot of attention. Unfortunately for Samsung, this is a situation they will likely be facing for months, if not years, to come.

(Some examples of just a few other phone explosions over the years: HTC, Apple, LG)

What do you think, could Samsung be covering up a bigger battery issue, or is it more likely that the media and Samsung owners are just jumping to conclusions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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