The WSJ discusses the disaster that is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 today. We would like to discuss the extent of the disaster. If you have flown recently you have heard all about the phone. If you come from flyover country like us where you make multiple stops, you have heard about it many times. It is clear that they deserve to be punished by the market. Our point is that the airline announcements will accomplish that and perhaps more.
First, you hear about it before getting on the aircraft. You usually hear it a couple of times during pre-boarding and boarding. You are already thinking Samsung = spawn of the devil. Then when you board you you hear it again. It is easy to blank out on the announcements you hear every time you find you seat on an airplane. The Samsung announcement is new so it attracts your attention. According to the WSJ, Samsung lost $20 billion in market value over this. Our guess is that it will be even worse. Our guess is that the Venn diagram for people who fly and people who own cell phones overlaps almost entirely. Being told by an independent agency, the airlines, that Samsung phones can kill us all and you can’t have one on the flight will have a bigger impact that all the news articles and videos together. As we look at our Samsung TV and Blu-ray player we don’t think they will be wiped out by this disaster but we wonder if they will ever fully recover.