Exploding kittens: how to tell if you have a Samsung SDI, or a 'safe' ATL battery in your Note 7
By now most users who already got a Note 7, might have heard of a little recall that Samsung has issued on their poor new toy due to battery heat-up problems that may lead to explosions. The issue seems to be with cells originating from Samsung's own SDI subsidiary that produces up to 70% of the Note 7 batteries.
That's apparently the first time Samsung has made so many pieces in-house, as SDI started developing sealed batteries in 2014, but wasn't ready for mass production in time for the Galaxy S6 or S7, so Samsung used mostly LG Chem and the Chinese ATL units for those. It seems that SDI hasn't been ready for the Note 7 release, either, yet Samsung sourced more than two thirds of the phablet's juicers from its homeboy. Actually, SDI produces the cells on all of them, but the packaging for the problematic ones is done by ITM Semiconductor, which seem to be the main culprit for turning a fast-charging Note 7 into an exploding kitten.
The remaining 30% of the battery cell packaging is outsourced to ATL, as Samsung can't get SDI-made batteries certified in China, even locally produced ones, presumably as a trade protection for electric car juicers sourced from Chinese companies. In any case, all Note 7 units made for China reportedly have the ATL batteries inside, and these don't seem to cause any problems, as Note 7 sales there will continue unabated and on time.
Granted, most of the units with "safe" ATL packs are destined for China, Hong Kong or Macau, where sales haven't stopped, but some might have been scooped by third-party vendors or importers, so if you want to know exactly what company made the juicer in your Note 7, and whether it has less of a possibility for extreme heat-up, just check the back of your device, or go to the Phone info part of your Settings app.
If it says "manufactured in China," there is a nice chance it will have ATL-packaged battery cells inside, though T-Mobile, whose model is made in China, is also taking part in the voluntary recall that the other US carriers issued as well. If it says "manufactured in Korea" or "in Vietnam," well, we'd return the unit to the vendor. Samsung already halted orders for batteries from its embattled SDI subsidiary, which sent its shares into a tailspin today, so all future replacement units of the Note 7 will probably come with ATL pieces or a third sourcing inside anyway.
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01 Nov, 2016Chinese customers outraged after Samsung execs kneeled to apologize for the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco
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