Steve Hamilton, Digital Media Director
The Samsung NOTE 7 has finally been pulled from shelves. Dozens of reports from Note 7 owners claiming that the phones are catching fire have become too much to bear for Samsung. Even after an initial recall of the device, the replacements seem to be having the same problem. They have now pulled all versions of the phone and have urged consumers to return their phones for refunds and a different device (per the phone carrier’s discretion). But is it too little, too late?
A recall is never a good thing for a company’s image, but it can at least prevent damage from reaching critical levels. However, the recall replacements have had the same issue. The company now has an uphill battle to fight against a lack of consumer trust and their stock tumbled by roughly 8 percent. Will they be able to rise to their previous stature as a company?
Even at this point, if the company were to remedy the issue, the Samsung Note 7 will always be branded as that phone that was exploding and catching fire. Who would have thought that safety would be an issue when selecting a cell phone? I wouldn’t be surprised if we never see a Note again and Samsung instead opts for a completely new name for their phones. A new name, a new start and hope that the Note fades into obscurity. Samsung has to cut their losses and start fresh, but what can they do to regain the trust of their consumers and shareholders?
They need to communicate clearly and concisely to their shareholders and investors a plan that shows exactly what they are doing to do moving forward. They need to admit fault, but stress that they will not be dwarfed by Apple/other competitors because of this singular issue, and that they will work tirelessly to turn out a new product that reflects the incredible success the company has had thus far.
For the customers, they will first need to up their engineering game. It’s 2016, you can’t release a defective, dangerous product into a marketplace as competitive as the smartphone market. Secondly, they will have to bend over backwards to make it up to their consumers whose lives have unwittingly been put into danger. They have already released a statement claiming that the investigation is ongoing, but they are going to need to apologize and put some safeguards in place to keep themselves from being the ones who fade into obscurity. I’m going to go make a phone call on my Galaxy S5, and I think I’ll put it on speaker and leave it on the table away from my head…just in case.