How you handle a product safety issue is important. Samsung handled it right.
Samsung just faced the worst nightmare any type of product design team could have on Friday. They realized that the Note 7 had some sort of flaw, and one that could hurt people, so they're pulling it off the shelves.
I'm not going to try and hash out all the different theories about why or how many or anything like that. We can either accept what Samsung's PR tells us and move along or realize that we'll never know the whole story and move along anyway. Instead, I'm going to talk about reactions.
We'll start with Samsung. I like to point fingers at Samsung for the stupid things they sometimes do because they are capable of so much better. That can't be said about the way they handled the Note 7 recall. When numerous reports of Note 7 explosions started creeping in, they could have pointed the finger at someone else or the user, or just ignored them as if they weren't happening. Instead, it's obvious that they started looking into the issue right away. And when faced with the horrifying idea that they just sold a couple million products that could hurt people or their property, they acted swiftly and did exactly the right thing — they recalled every single one of them and told everyone they were doing it. I don't think there's any better way something like this could be handled.
Not doing the right thing has consequenses. Just ask Toyota.
Of course, part of the reason they acted so quickly is a liability thing. If you or I buy a Note 7 and it goes boom then burns our house down or we lose a finger or something, Samsung will be shelling out the cash to compensate us. If that happens to 10 or 20 or 100 people, it moves from a matter of liability to something that can ruin a company's image. Remember when we all laughed at Toyota? That's what can happen when you don't do the right thing. Samsung did the right thing. GoodGuySamsung,
The flipside is the way the internet of turds tries to turn this into a dick-measuring contest. Thumping your chest and showing everyone that tattoo of your favorite brand of electronics manufacturer because their phones don't blow up really only makes you look like a jackass. You know who you are. And if this would happen to your favorite smartphone team you should hope they handle it as well as Samsung did. And not just the "other" team is guilty. Stop trying to blame cables or users or Bin Laden's ghost for the problem and appreciate the way it's being addressed. Saying it's the user's fault is like saying "You're holding it wrong" and means you're just as much of an asshole. Just stop, all of you.
Other stuff happened this week, too, because Android stuff happens every week.
- A whole lot of bloggers were in Berlin to look at stuff. IFA is always a crapshoot and you never know how good the stuff is going to look until you see it. This year was no different. We'll take a closer look at the real jewels, and probably miss one we should have looked it. We're human. You'll tell us when we miss one.
- NotNexus happened. Goodbye coolest name for a phone ever. Handling rumors can be hard. We sat on this for ages until we were as sure as we could be, and we are still sitting on a pile of other rumors. In the end, this particular one is fun to talk about, but a name change doesn't mean much. Especially from Google who isn't afraid to let go of anything. The other things that could be changing will mean more.
- Acer's new Chromebook has me interested. The R13 convertible hits a lot of things on my list — touch screen, big enough but not too big, and USB-C 3.1. It has the things it needs to be a good Chromebook that runs Android apps. I'm also interested how the Chrome team deals with Mediatek's less than stellar track record for security.
- The new Galaxy Gear looks pretty nice. This is going to be one of the best Gear watches that nobody buys. The people who do get one all seem to love them, but nobody has found that one killer feature that makes them necessary. That goes for smartwatches in general. I do hope Samsung keeps trying and finds that feature I didn't know I couldn't live without. That's how the best stuff happens.
- Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 is official. We wrote this off earlier in the year as just an 820 improvement. People are still doing it. Now that we know the details, we're all wrong. Forget 10% faster and know that the 821 supports the very latest advanced graphics APIs, and we know what happens when a chip doesn't support them. Because one chip maker essentially controls the smartphone market, we just suck it up and buy new things.
- I found out Dan is a coffee lover. Next get-together calls for a Death Wish dark and RedBull cup of freedom.
More cool stuff will happen next week, too. And we'll be here to talk about it. Adios amigos!