Company / division: Samsung
There’s a little too much hype in the headline here – this isn’t the future of laptops as much as the present, but as Chromebooks rather than Windows machines. The sort of convertible model Samsung is using here has been growing among Windows PCs for years now. In some ways the more interesting difference is that these laptops are being priced more like mid-range Windows PCs rather than cheap alternatives, as Chromebooks have been in the past. OEMs seem to be banking on Android integration to sell these machines now that price isn’t really a factor anymore.
Samsung has sold smart TVs for years, but they’ve generally been standalone devices, rather than being driven from a smartphone or app, despite an earlier project which was intended to use tablets as a remote. This new functionality looks like Chromecast, and may well be a response to competing TVs using actual Google Cast technology. As with most of Samsung’s services, though, it’s unlikely to be a big hit.
Shara does a great job here of stating the challenge Samsung faces heading into CES, where it holds the biggest press conference of any exhibitor but tends not to make smartphone announcements. I’m concerned that we still don’t have an official explanation for the Note7 fires, which means the story will keep sticking around, and will keep making people – especially those who’ve never bought one – think twice before buying a Samsung phone.
Much of this piece piggybacks off the Flurry data I linked to earlier, but there are some additional comments from an NPD analyst which form the basis of the headline. The point here is that Samsung did suffer from the Note7 recall, but not nearly as much as it might have, because most buyers stuck with Galaxy phones rather than switching to iPhone. This reinforces the point that Apple and Samsung (in that order) have the highest smartphone loyalty rates by far, which has certainly helped Samsung this year.
T-Mobile rolls out battery shutdown update to remaining Galaxy Note 7s | AndroidAuthority (Dec 27, 2016)
This is the beginning of the end for the Note7 saga, which began all the way back in early September. The four major US carriers, starting with T-Mobile, are rolling out what are effectively kill updates that will shut down the remaining Note7 devices in use. Over 90% of those devices have already been turned in, so this is really about capturing the holdouts. This is also the beginning of the end for the PR nightmare that’s kept this story in the news far longer than Samsung would have liked.
Galaxy Note 7 recall did not damage Samsung brand in U.S.: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters (Nov 20, 2016)
The actual findings here are more complex than the headline suggests – those who had used Samsung devices tended to be relatively unfazed by the recall, while non-users’ opinions were swayed more, results that have been borne out by other surveys too. In other words, Samsung shouldn’t lose many customers over the recall, but might find it a little harder to win converts.
FAA Bans Note7 From All Flights (Oct 14, 2016)
The FAA finally banned all Note7 devices in any state from flights, following earlier partial bans, and mandated safety warnings on all US flights which lasted into January 2017.
Samsung Cuts Q3 Guidance Over Note7 (Oct 12, 2016)
The financial impact of the Note7 debacle began to become clear, as Samsung formally reduced its revenue and profit guidance by several billion dollars (its final results for Q3 would be broadly in line with this guidance).
Samsung Ends Note7 Sales Worldwide (Oct 10, 2016)
Samsung finally announced that it would stop selling the Note7 in all countries.
First Report of Replacement Samsung Note7 Fire (Oct 5, 2016)
The first report came in of a replacement Note7 – theoretically the safe version – also catching fire, prompting calls for a complete recall.
Bloomberg Reports Samsung Rushed Note7 Development (Sep 19, 2016)
Bloomberg reported that a rush to beat the iPhone 7 to market had caused Samsung to shortcut its development process for the Note7, possibly leading to the faults that triggered the fires.
Samsung Issues Partial Formal US Note7 Recall (Sep 15, 2016)
Samsung issued a partial formal recall through the US CPSC which lacked the force of a full recall, and focused only on the first-generation devices with the supposedly faulty battery.
Samsung Note7 Sales Suspended + Informal Recall (Sep 2, 2016)
Samsung suspended sales of first-generation Note devices and issued an informal recall, while promising that replacement devices with different batteries would be available very soon.
First Reports of Samsung Galaxy Note7 Fires (Aug 24, 2016)
Reports began to trickle in about fires caused by the Galaxy Note7, and eventually the trickle turned into a steady stream, with dozens of cases reported in the US alone over the space of a couple of weeks.
Samsung Galaxy Note7 Goes on Sale (Aug 19, 2016)
The Note7 went on sale on August 19th in the US with all the major carriers, off the back of mostly very good reviews from major tech publications.
Samsung Unveils the Galaxy Note7 (Aug 2, 2016)
On August 2, 2016, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note7 at an event in New York City. It skipped from 5 to 7 in the numbering system to align naming with its Galaxy S line, a decision that would later prove unfortunate.