Note7停產 留下懸而未解的問題

Note 7不斷出包迫使三星決定停產停售,然而後續效應恐需整個電子產業共同承擔。(法新社資料照片)
Note 7不斷出包迫使三星決定停產停售,然而後續效應恐需整個電子產業共同承擔。(法新社資料照片)

The world's leading smartphone company debuts a new device that initially is touted as one of the best smartphones ever made. Glowing reviews quickly follow, and the company's prospects for a strong fall and holiday season - and the opportunity for regaining some lost market share- seem nearly assured.



 Customers are reassured that the problem seems to lie not in the phone itself, but in a battery provided by one of the company's third-party battery suppliers (ironically, most believe the culprit to be Samsung SDI - a sister company of Samsung Electronics).

 顧客再三獲保證,問題絕對不是出自手機本身,而是第三方電池供應商提供的電池有問題(諷刺的是,目前絕大部分人深信供應商其實是 Samsung SDI,也就是三星電子的子公司)。

 And then, the unthinkable: Replacement phones start to show the same problems, and the company is forced to stop the production and sale of the device, encourage its telco and retail partners to stop selling it, and tell all its existing customers to stop using it.


 Part of the issue isn't just the product itself- although that's certainly bad enough - but the manner in which the company is now handling it. Reaction has quickly moved from praise for Samsung’s initial quick efforts to address the issue, to disbelief that the company could let a second round of faulty products that are this dangerous get out the door.


On top of that, many unanswered questions need to be addressed. From a practical perspective, what is the cause of the problems if it isn’t the battery cell (the charging circuits?), and what other phones might face the same dangerous issues? Why did Samsung rush out the replacement units without actually figuring out what the real cause was? What kind of testing did they do(or not) to be sure the replacements were safe?


 Some might argue that these questions are an overreaction to a single product fault from a single vendor. And, to be fair to Samsung, there have certainly been reported cases of other fire and safety-related issues with electronics products from other vendors, including Apple, over the last few years.


 But when people's lives and health are at stake - as they clearly have been with some of the reported Galaxy Note 7-related problems - it's not unreasonable to question whether existing policies and procedures are sufficient. Our collective dependence on battery-driven devices is only growing, so it may be time to take a harder, more detailed look at safety-related testing and requirements.

 而在人們的生命與健康受到威脅時,畢竟在Galaxy Note 7有關的特定案例中,確實存在這樣的疑慮時,去質疑既有政策或安全流程是否足夠,並不是什麼不合理的行為。我們對於電池產品的仰賴,只會與日俱增,因此或許現在正是時候來更嚴格、更詳細檢視與安全有關的測試與規範。

 Given the breakneck pace and highly competitive environment for battery-powered devices, there will likely be industry pushback against prolonged or more expensive testing. As the Galaxy Note 7 situation clearly illustrates, however, speed doesn't always work when it comes to safety.

 著眼於使用電池裝置的快速演進腳步及競爭環境,或許會有業者反對時程更長、成本更高的測試。然而在Galaxy Note 7的例子中,很清楚呈現快速並不總是與安全畫上等號。

 Finally, the tech industry needs to take a serious look at these issues and figure out potential methods of self-policing. If they don't, and we start hearing a lot more stories about other devices exploding, catching on fire or causing bodily harm, you can be assured that some politician or governmental agency will use the collective news to start imposing much more challenging requirements.


 As the old saying goes: Better safe than sorry.