Samsung doesn’t seem to be having a good few weeks. The South Korean manufacturer’s shares took a hit when it rival Apple’s phablet iPhone 6 Plus debuted and now its looking at what could be a really big dent in their bottom line with the Galaxy Note 4.
Reports have emerged from Samsung’s own turf, South Korea, where their local media, I.T. Today, caught wind of user reports in a forum alleging a manufacturing defect in Samsung’s latest Flagship, the Galaxy Note 4. The manufacturing defect comes in the form of a gap between the phablet’s metallic frame and display unit of the Note 4. The gap, which some are calling GapGate, is apparently large enough to accommodate a business card in some of the cases which have been reported. This issue has been highlighted as a huge manufacturing flaw which has brought into question the build quality of the device which doesn’t help when Samsung has increased their expected sales of the Note 4. This issue comes a surprise to many as the same issue was not seen in the Galaxy Alpha, Samsung’s first metallic smartphone.
However, it seems like the issue has been addressed by Samsung in their European User Manual for the Galaxy Note 4. In their troubleshooting sections, the following is seen:
A small gap appears around the outside of the device case
This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur.
Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly.
The following acknowledgement of the gap in their European User Manual suggests that this may in fact be a characteristic of the device instead of a flaw. It does however lend credence to why Samsung opted not to make the Note 4 waterproof and dustproof akin to its Galaxy S5 cousin. In addition, the statement does bring into the spotlight the build quality of the phablet. While we can speculate that one major difference between the Galaxy Alpha and the Galaxy Note 4, the digitizer, may have lent itself to Samsung’s design choice. However, the more worrying part is that according to the manual, the gap is expected to expand over time. There has been no official word on why this choice has been made or how bad the expansion may be.
A spokesperson for Samsung commented on the issue stating that the gap “does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note4”. We are waiting to see whether this issue will be an isolated one or one which will be, as they say, a “manufacturing feature”.
“The reported issue does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note 4. We assure our customers that all Galaxy Note 4 units meet our strict manufacturing and quality control standards”
How does this affect your views/impression of the Galaxy Note 4? Will you be getting a Galaxy Note 4?