​Samsung apologizes to Galaxy Note 7 customers, but battery post-mortem critical

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 apology is appreciated, but transparency and details about what went wrong will go farther for the brand.

Samsung delivered an open letter to Galaxy Note 7 customers, apologized and said it is working to resolve the problems that led to a recall and then death of the device.

But Samsung's next milestone in winning back customers will be most important. Here's the line that matters in Samsung's apology (emphasis added):

Samsung is fully committed to identifying and addressing the source of the Note 7's battery issue. We have already initiated investigations with independent third party experts to carefully revisit every aspect of the device, including the battery, hardware and software, and manufacturing processes. Once available, we will transparently share our findings.

That transparency will do more to repair Samsung's brand hit than any apology will. Here's what questions I'd like answered:

  1. How did the handoff between the players in the supply chain lead to the Galaxy Note 7 battery issue?
  2. What processes will be changed?
  3. How does Samsung's post mortem apply to the smartphone industry overall?
  4. The actual cause of the battery issue and the role of hardware and software integration?
  5. Where did Samsung controls and management decision making fall short and what's being done to fix those process shortfalls?

Add it up and the investigation into the device and its parts are important. The processes and learning for the rest of the industry will be just as important.

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