Samsung returns to world’s biggest tech stage


Samsung is arguably the biggest beast at the Consumer Electronics Show – launching some of the most hotly anticipated gadgets.

But it arrives this year somewhat humbled after the biggest crisis in its history, the exploding batteries that destroyed its flagship phone.

So can it restore its reputation? CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports.

In just a few minutes, fire destroys a mock-up of a passenger jet cargo compartment.

The cause: lithium ion batteries – a large-scale illustration of the nightmare faced by Samsung after batteries in its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone began exploding last summer.

Even replacements were at risk. A U.S. flight had to be evacuated after one of the devices started smoking.

Samsung had to terminate the Galaxy Note 7 less than two months after it was launched.

It’s expected to take a $3 billion hit in lost profits. But some analysts predict total losses up to $17 billion.

And yet Samsung’s share price bounced back quickly, with one poll suggesting the crisis did no lasting harm to the company’s brand reputation.

Marketing experts said the key to winning back customer trust is transparency.

Scientists said it may be possible in the future to eliminate battery explosions using more substantial encasement. For now, using safer materials is an option – but there’s a crucial trade off. In an era when we rely on our phones for just about everything, consumers are demanding more, not less, power.

Shawn DuBravac talks about CES

What are the newest trends and gadets to look out for at this year’s CES? For more on the topic, CGTN’s Owen Fairclough spoke to Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association.