Reuters is reporting that Samsung has temporarily suspended production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after replacements for the first batch of devices also proved to be almost as good at spontaneously combusting as they are at surfing the Web.
One brand manager went so far as to compare the self-igniting smartphones to the Ford Pinto, whose rear-end fuel tanks had the unfortunate tendency to explode upon contact.
Samsung’s situation isn’t unique: Apple experienced similar problems with previous iterations of the iPhone. But given the speed with which new phone models are brought to market, one begins to wonder whether these defects are part of a larger failure of the process itself.
Is is possible we’ve reached an inflection point whereby, in the rush to get product to market, the validation phase is — pardon the pun — being short-circuited? Are suppliers properly vetted, product thoroughly tested, risks appropriately balanced?
Or has consumer electronics reached a point where it’s a race not to market but to failure?
Oct. 11 addendum: The Korea Herald and others are now reporting Samsung has decided to pull the plug completely on the Note 7. The estimated cost: Billions.