Samsung is tipped to confirm the batteries used in its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone were the cause of fires which sparked a global recall of 2.5 million devices when it issues the results of an official probe in late January, Reuters reported.
The smartphone giant was able to replicate the fires during the investigation, concluding they could not be caused by hardware design or software-related factors, a source told Reuters. The results of the investigation are expected to be released on 23 January, a day before Samsung announces its Q4 results.
Samsung, which is preparing to launch the Galaxy S8 in the first half of the year, is working to rebuild consumer trust in its brand. The vendor placed a series of adverts in the US announcing it was conducting a thorough investigation and promised to publish the results of the probe, which it is conducting in conjunction with US and South Korean authorities.
The smartphone giant initially said the results would be released by end-2016. While it originally noted the batteries were the likely ignition point for the fires, it explained “diverse factors” could ultimately be responsible.
Despite the global recall, Samsung announced earlier this month it expects its Q4 2016 operating profit to increase 50 per cent year-on-year, with brisk sales of chips and displays offsetting losses from the Note 7 debacle.
The world’s largest smartphone maker axed the Note 7 in early October after several devices caught fire. While the vendor initially blamed a faulty batch of batteries from another Samsung unit (Samsung SDI) for the problem and recalled 2.5 million units, it conceded defeat after some initial replacement devices featuring batteries from its other supplier, China’s Amperex Technology, were affected by the same problem.
Samsung is reportedly close to finalising a smartphone battery supply deal with LG Chem, which will come into effect in the second half of the year.