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Samsung to Explain Why Galaxy Note 7s Catch Fire Next Week

January 20, 2017, 12:20 AM UTC
Consumer Product Safety Commission Announces Recall Of Samsung's New Galaxy Note 7
Several Samsung Galaxy Note 7s lay on a counter in plastic bags after they were returned to a Best Buy on Sept. 15, 2016 in Orem, Utah.
George Frey—Getty Images

Samsung Electronics said it will announce on Jan. 23 the results of a probe on what caused some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to catch fire, as the firm seeks to recover from one of the biggest product safety failures in tech history.

Samsung said its executives and independent experts will disclose their findings in a press conference in Seoul and that the company will unveil new measures that have been implemented to prevent repeat incidents.

The head of it mobile business, Koh Dong-jin, who announced the initial September Note 7 recall, will attend the briefing, Samsung said in a statement on Friday.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this week that Samsung’s probe had found the battery was the main cause of Note 7 fires.

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The world’s top smartphone maker needs to reassure consumers that its devices are safe in order for the company to recover from a projected almost $5.20 billion hit to its operating profit from the Note 7’s collapse over three quarters.

Investors say Samsung must give a convincing explanation for the fires before the launch of its Galaxy S8 smartphones, expected sometime in the first half.

The company initially announced a recall of some 2.5 million Note 7 phones in September and identified the cause of the fire as a manufacturing process problem at one of its suppliers, later identified as affiliate Samsung SDI.

But new Note 7s with what Samsung said were safe batteries from a different supplier continued to catch fire, forcing the firm to permanently halt sales. The firm in October said it would examine all possible causes and hired third-party firms as part of its probe.