Samsung Note 7 Battery at Fault, Chinese Lab Says; Domestic Brands Rush to Fill the Market Gap
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
Samsung Note 7 Battery at Fault, Chinese Lab Says; Domestic Brands Rush to Fill the Market Gap

(Yicai Global) Oct. 19 -- China TTL Laboratory, affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, told state television yesterday that the explosion of a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone sold in China was caused by spontaneous combustion of the battery.

"No traces of external heating were found, and the heat damages on the sample are caused by spontaneous combustion of the battery, which first started at the lower-right corner of the battery," the lab report said.

Samsung Electronics Co. had issued a global recall of its new flagship smartphone due to issues with exploding batteries. However, phones sold in China after the official launch date of Sept. 1 used different battery suppliers and the South Korean firm stressed that they were not problematic and did not fall within the scope of this recall.

However, several Chinese consumers reported their Note 7 phones catching fire. Samsung responded by claiming that these incidents were not battery-related, but were rather caused by external heat.

The incidents have seriously undermined Samsung's market share in China and Chinese mobile phone manufacturers have been quick to fill the gap. Some 10 new products were released by major domestic brands within the space of 15 days.

Huawei Technologies Co., China's largest smartphone maker, launched its Nova series last week. Targeting young users the phone has been endorsed by two pop idols. Prices start at CNY2,099 (USD312). There are rumors that the Shenzhen-based company's high-end Mate 9 series may be released as early as next month.

Japan's Sony Corp.'s latest flagship smartphone Xperia XZ was introduced into the Chinese market in late September. Its price of CNY4,999 aims to fill the market gap left by Samsung Note 7.

"In addition to Apple and mid/high-market models of Huawei and OPPO, Xiaomi will also benefit as a low-end brand," Mr. Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, said.

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