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Industry so far 'lukewarm' towards Samsung's post-Note 7 battery testing standards

Carriers and phone makers have so far largely ignored Samsung's efforts to promote its new battery testing procedure —created in the aftermath of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 —as a possible industry standard, a report said on Friday.




Those companies largely consider their existing safety procedures to be good enough, according to interviews conducted by CNET. Some are, however, said to be quietly investigating the issue of battery safety based on data Samsung shared with the public.

"I'm sure the engineers will be looking at the info Samsung made public," said a phone maker spokesman who asked CNET not to be identified. "I'm sure every [phone maker] will be doing the same."

The Samsung procedure involves eight different steps: visual inspection, an x-ray, charge/discharge, leak testing, disassembling, accelerated usage, checks for voltage changes, and finally several durability tests involving punctures, overcharging, and extreme temperature ranges.

Prior to the Note 7, Samsung reportedly relied on tests conducted by its battery suppliers, but is now conducting tests of its own as well.

One phone maker, LG, noted that its latest device —the G6 —went through battery puncture testing. Motorola simply said that it does internal testing, providing "an additional level beyond industry standards," and gets certification from third-party labs. TCL, which assembles Alcatel and BlackBerry devices, did acknowledge reviewing supplier methods after the Note 7 fires, but concluded it was in good shape.

For the most part there are few industry-wide battery standards, beyond limited testing done by carriers, or the requirements of groups like the CTIA, which represents companies in the U.S. wireless industry.

Apple has generally been quiet about how it tests for battery safety. It has only rarely had to deal with iPhone fire incidents, though other battery problems have occasionally crept up. Late last year, it launched a battery swap program for the iPhone 6s to cope with sudden shutdowns in some units.