Years ago Verizon had a series of television commercials where pitchman Paul Marcarelli used this great catchphrase, “Can you hear me now?” The guy now works for Sprint, to which Verizon says, “Sprint’s using our 2002 spokesman because they’re finally catching up to Verizon’s 2002 network.” Ouch.
Here’s another ouch of epic proportions that go beyond the wireless carrier battles. Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone catches fire. Cars have burned. Houses have burned. Children have burned. And heaven help the poor schmuck who fastens a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to his face for a little virtual reality game.
Wait. Who would do that? Who on planet earth does not know the Galaxy Note 7 is the opposite of flame retardant? Samsung has begun a recall effort, airlines won’t let you fly with the device, and while an exploding battery is no joke, the late night talk show hosts can’t help themselves.
That brings me to a few questions. We live in an era whereby about 90-percent of Apple’s iPhone and iPad customers upgrade their devices to the latest iOS version, and Android’s latest version gets installed on 15-percent of the customer base in the same period.
What does that say about iPhone customers vs. Android customers?
Samsung has gargantuan problems with Galaxy Note 7. The company’s stock has tanked over $20-billion. The clean up expenses, recalls, and lawsuits will cost another $5-billion or more. People have been hurt by a device that spontaneously goes up in flames.
What does it say about a customer base that continues to use the device, despite the warnings. Some data from Apteligent suggests Galaxy Note 7 customers are not taking the advice to return their devices to Samsung or their mobile device carrier, to the point of not even bothering to turn them off.
For its part, Samsung plans to push out an update that caps battery life at 60-percent on remaining devices, and change the battery indicator from white (exploding battery) to green (new battery). That way users can tell which Galaxy Note 7 class theirs belongs in– exploding class, or exploding less class.
With as much publicity as this problem has generated, what should Samsung do? Would you buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now, even if the battery indicator is green and not white (I’m think red would be better than white; maybe animated to show a flaming battery)?
Apple’s customers worry about the company moving an industry toward wireless accessories, while Samsung’s customers worry about whether they’ll wake up dead after buying a Galaxy Note 7?
All those Samsung television and online commercials that mocked iPhone users seem rather over the top now, don’t they? The next time you see someone with disfiguring burn marks, just assume they owned a Galaxy Note 7.
In fact, a Samsung television commercial that uses the Sprint spokesperson who asks, “Will you buy me now?” would raise a few eyebrows (and some of them would be singed).