What happens to Samsung after the Note 7 disaster?


Recode’s Ina Fried answers your questions with Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode on Too Embarrassed to Ask.

After dozens of incidents in which batteries overheated and began smoking or catching fire, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is dead. But Samsung’s nightmare is just beginning.

“Samsung isn’t the only [company] out there offering Android phones,” Recode’s Senior Mobile Editor Ina Fried said on the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask. “They have a less defensible position, which makes it all the more crucial that they work on repairing that brand ASAP.”

Speaking with Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, Fried said the Note 7 was not Samsung’s most popular phone, but the high-end device was one of its most profitable. Even before the Note 7 was recalled for a second time and production was halted, analysts said the company stood to lose $10 billion in revenue and $2 billion to $3 billion in profit.

The immediate next step for the company is getting its act in order before the expected launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, its next mass-market device, in February.

“They have to convince people that this is a phone that they want and a phone that they trust,” Fried said. “That second part’s going to be particularly tough for them. They also owe the public an explanation of what really did go wrong, especially with the replacement models.”

And as Goode pointed out, average consumers skimming the headlines may not realize that the so-called “exploding battery” issue has affected only one smartphone model to date.

“We’re pretty nerdy, so we might say, ‘That’s not a Note, it’s the S7, or maybe an upcoming S8’ and we’d actually distinguish,” she said. “But a lot of consumers might just think: ‘Samsung mobile phone.’”

Later in the show, the trio answered your questions about battery technology, how smartphones are tested for safety and whether the Note brand is completely dead.

Have questions about the Note 7, or batteries in general, that we didn’t get to in this episode? Or have another tech topic on your mind? You can tweet any questions, comments and complaints to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. You can also email your questions to TooEmbarrassed@recode.net, in case Twitter isn’t your thing.

Be sure to follow @LaurenGoode, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to be alerted when we’re looking for questions about a specific topic.

If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
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If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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