Any long-standing company that has managed to keep its name untarnished since its inception only needs to commit one single mistake for its brand to sustain great damage. Only time will tell if it recovers.
By this time, you would have read the news about the decision of a popular smartphone company permanently stopping the production of one of its supposed flagship products. According to Wall Street Journal, the company has announced they will permanently stop the manufacture and sales of the device after it failed to address the problem. Without a doubt, it will go down in history as one of the biggest recall ever of a product, which so far has reached more than 2.5 million phones. What could have happened?
A Timeline of Great Promise Turned To Woes
The company unveiled its state-of-the-art smartphone on August 2, 2016, with much fanfare at a media event held in New York. The public immediately seized on the amazing features of the phone which included large AMOLED screen, an excellent camera that promises to rival that of an iconic smartphone, and a huge battery that can last for hours. It seems as if the product is on its way to grab the leadership of the smartphone industry when it happened.
Barely a month after it was launched, a report of the product exploding and catching on fire started coming in. It was followed by another customer complaint of the product bursting into flames in mid-September and an evacuation of an airline in the US because of smoke coming out of the product brought by a passenger on board. It was established that the fire and explosion were caused by the battery, but even with new replacements, the issue kept on coming back. This led to the massive recall advisory made by the company and the eventual cancellation of its production.
Impact on Reliability
According to BBC News, many consumers prefer models made by this particular company due to product reliability, something which could change in the coming days as the company loses substantial consumer faith, and in turn, could damage its brand. This is one classic case of how product reliability can affect a company’s reputation. The reasons behind the fiasco could be countless but there is one aspect that could have prevented this from happening and that is an efficient product reliability testing that should have been employed by the company.
As always, everything else is hindsight. What could have been preventable has happened and there is nothing the company could do about it. Perhaps if there is one good thing that this debacle has produced, it is the reminder to all companies that product reliability testing should be treated with great importance. The methods to be used should also be beyond reproach.
Furthermore, Qualmark Corporation notes that it is also essential that personnel in charge of these product reliability testing methods are adequately trained in AST programs. This is to ensure they will know how to capably operate the machines that perform these product reliability tests.