We started off the year with rave reviews about the Galaxy S7, this year’s flagship from the Korean Android OEM which won quite a horde of Android enthusiasts and yes, iOS folks. It had the best camera sensor to ever grace any smartphone, building on the momentum set by the Galaxy S6 Edge + before it. Which on its own right, had the prior year’s best smartphone camera.
The all new industrial design bested the S6 Edge before it and not even Apple’s iPhone matched its prowess. The world was awed by this flagship and it revitalized Samsung’s fortunes that it registered one of its best quarters, since 2014. Boy it sold in droves and so far, Sammy’s forecast looked positive for the greater part of the year.
Then, the Note 7 happened! Skipping the 6 as would be the case in Samsung’s nomenclature just to ride along the precedent set by the S7. This was aimed at raising the Note 7’s marketing efforts and not confuse consumers who might have otherwise been hoodwinked into thinking that; the Note 6 might be inferior to the S7.
“It came out a little early and reports suggest that it was so, to beat Apple to the market”
While this unfolded, critics refrained from throwing shade towards Samsung since it had the year’s best smartphone – that is the Note 7. It was even christened the best smartphone of the year, the best smartphone ever, even before the iPhone 7 came out. It came out a little early and reports suggest that it was so, to beat Apple to the market and enjoy the hype before the iPhone 7 did launch to steal the show. And yes, it was as thought till the multiple battery explosions came knocking. The hype, the good precedent all came crumbling down and it has been the worst PR night mare to ever happen to Samsung Mobile.
Samsung had to issue a recall, after the software patches and the replacement drive also negated any efforts to contain the endemic explosions. Replaced Galaxy Note 7s were no different from the conventional Note 7s, they too exploded! Regulators were called to action, the Note 7 production was ceased, Note 7s were banned from flights and Sammy had to write off a painfully $5 billion in recalls and unsold Note 7 inventory.
All the good about 2016 being Samsung’s year has been curtailed, the iPhone 7 launched amid this debacle, not forgetting the Google Pixels and Sammy now has to contend with a tainted corporate name and the upheaval of changing consumer perceptions. Trolls are at their best, the memes, the media and even Samsung diehards have had to bow down, acknowledge the disaster and contend jabs from iPhone diehards.
We now wait for the Galaxy s8.
And to the Note family in Uganda, we feel sorry for you as we earlier warned that it will never sail this side of the world. The few that defied this decree are already on their way back to wherever they came from. UCC did its best to spare you burning your car, house or furniture by issuing a ban on sales of the Note 7
All this could have attributed this disaster to human error or engineering flaws but Samsung also seems to have failed figuring out what exactly is causing the explosions. No credible explanation has been communicated except, of course referring you to the Galaxy S8 as your next replacement. But this will happen next year, around March if I we’re to be precise. And while you wait, the Note 7 debacle will forever haunt Samsung with its rushed decisions and we hope it will as well force it to reconsider them.
The S8 better make a statement otherwise the year 2016 goes to no particular player. There hasn’t launched an engineering marvel of a slab lately, maybe the Xiaomi Mi Mix, but this too might never sail the Pearl side. The iPhone 7 iterated the 6S before but there is nothing to celebrate about it, the Pixel phones are too generic and the S7 is already calling for a successor.