Samsung Electronics Co Ltd indicated on Monday that its latest flagship Galaxy S smartphone could be delayed as it pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices.
Wrapping up its months-long probe, the world’s top smartphone maker said faulty batteries from two suppliers were to blame for a product failure that wiped $5.3 billion off its operating profit.
Investigations by internal and independent experts ruled out problems with the Note 7’s hardware and software. Instead, they said the batteries, which came from two suppliers, featured different manufacturing defects or design flaws that caused them to short-circuit.
“The odds that two different suppliers had issue with the same phone is an extremely low likelihood and may signal we have reached an inflection point in smartphone battery technology,” said Patrick Moorhead, president of technology analyst and advisory firm Moor Insights & Strategy.
Samsung did not name the suppliers on Monday but previously identified them as affiliate Samsung SDI Co Ltd and China’s Amperex Technology Ltd (ATL). SDI said separately it would invest 150 billion won ($129 million) to improve product safety and expected to continue supplying batteries for Samsung phones. ATL declined to comment.
Samsung said it accepted responsibility and would not take legal action against suppliers.