Samsung Phone Fire in China Not Caused by Battery

A Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 new smartphone is displayed at its store in Seoul, South Korea, September 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

SEOUL/BEIJING, Sept 19  – A supplier to Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday that its battery does not appear to have caused a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to ignite in China, after Chinese media reported one of the handsets caught fire.

The incident comes amid a recall of the Note 7 phones across the globe including South Korea and the United States due to faulty batteries causing the devices to catch fire while charging or in normal use. Samsung has said it has sold 2.5 million phones equipped with the suspect batteries.

Late on Sunday, Chinese online financial magazine Caixin cited an internet user’s report that their Note 7 phone, bought from Inc, had caught fire in what appeared to be the first report in China of a fire involving the handset.

Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) said it conducted a joint investigation with Samsung on the phone in question and determined the incident was not directly linked to a battery made by the China-based firm.

“According to the burn marks on the sample, we surmise that the source of the heating comes from outside the battery, and it’s very likely that there was an external factor causing the heating problem,” the battery maker said in a statement.

An ATL official confirmed to Reuters one of its batteries was in the Note 7 phone that reportedly caught fire and that the heating problem was caused by something other than the battery.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the phone was damaged by an external heat source, possibly an induction oven or a fan heater. The person was not authorised to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified.

A Samsung spokeswoman referred Reuters to ATL’s statement and declined to comment further. said it referred the case to Samsung.

Samsung last week announced a recall of 1,858 Note 7 phones in China but those devices were products distributed before the official Sept. 1 launch. The company said the phones sold through the official launch used batteries different from those in reported fires.

ATL is owned by Japanese components maker TDK Corp.

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