sparks fly

Nokia is putting out Samsung’s fires

December 10, 2013
December 10, 2013

The technorati have been atwitter for the past week, ever since a Canadian Youtuber posted video of a friend’s burned-out Galaxy SIV handset. Instead of immediately replacing the phone, Samsung demanded in writing that the video first be removed.

Now, Nokia has offered a free Lumia phone to Richard Wygand, the friend who posted the video:

Wygand told Quartz that he hasn’t received any further contact from Nokia beyond the initial tweet, and a follow up tweet asking which carrier he uses. He said that the sticking point has been that Samsung not only demanded the video takedown, but would only offer a “similar” phone model as a replacement. Wygand wants the same model as a replacement, because the phone is still under the standard Samsung warranty.

“I’ve had years of experience with Samsung products. I’ve never had problems with them. But after this customer service. It’s just driving at me. You can kind of see from the fury in the video,” Wygand said.

The whole thing started, according to Wygand, when he was awoken by the smell of “burning electronics,” while spending the night at his friend’s place. Upon investigation, he said, he found sparks and smoke coming from the handset and snatched the charger from the wall. Reports of battery overheating and swelling issues have plagued the Galaxy SIV for months.

Interestingly, Nokia faced similar battery overheating problems in 2007, when certain Matsushita models exploded while charging. The news led to Nokia losing some half a billion pounds ($820 million) of market value, in a single day.

Samsung would do well to address the issue with its customer base directly, rather than through the legal department, to avoid a Nokia-style hit.

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