Guangzhou man claims his Note 7 caught fire less than 24 hours after delivery — but isn't handing it over for inspection.
Even as Samsung makes strong progress with its Galaxy Note 7 exchange program and looks to reassure customers around the world that the new Note 7s are safe, there's a new report of Note 7s catching fire in China.
Note 7s sold in China were originally through to be unaffected by the battery glitch causing some phones sold elsewhere to overheat and explode, however some devices sold as part of a preview program were recalled two weeks ago. Today's report from Bloomberg says 25-year-old Guangzhou resident Hui Renjie says his phone caught fire less than 24 hours after it was delivered from Chinese outlet JD.com, burning his fingers and his MacBook in the process.
"We are currently contacting the customer and will conduct a thorough examination of the device in question once we receive it," the Korean company said in an e-mailed statement.
A Samsung representative reportedly visited Hui shortly after the incident, however according to Bloomberg, "he declined the offer because he doesn't trust the company to reveal the reason for the fire, and plans to publicize the issue." Which by all accounts he's succeeded in doing.
Two other battery fires in China have been investigated by Samsung, which has attributed them to external heating — i.e. the original source of the fire wasn't the battery, as in reports centered around the old Note 7 with the defective cell.
It's too early to draw any conclusions from this latest report, and since the owner isn't willing to hand it over for analysis, we may never know what caused the fire. There are many things that can go wrong and suddenly cause all the power contained in a lithium-ion battery to release at once. (Heat from the nearby MacBook is one possibility.) It's also worth noting that these reports have been isolated to China so far — and explained away by the manufacturer where it's been able to investigate.
Elsewhere, Samsung continues to reassure customers that the new Note 7, with its green battery icon, is safe to use.