It took them long enough, but the marketing heads at Motorola have finally realized that there’s some self-promotion potential in Samsung’s massive, and embarrassing, Note 7 recall.
The Lenovo-owned company is running a new promo where it gives a free Incipio offGRID Power Pack with every Moto Z Droid purchase. So far, nothing special, but Moto couldn’t resist slipping in a passive-aggressive jab at Samsung:
“At Moto, our priority is safety first. Unlike some manufacturers, we adhere to the highest standards in quality and testing of all our batteries.”
Ouch, what a, uhm, burn!
There’s a problem though. Samsung is putting safety first.
While some criticized Samsung for the way it conducted the recall, it’s important to realize that the Note 7 was recalled voluntarily. Assuming that the stats about the magnitude of the problem are correct (1 in 42,000 units), Samsung could have tried to sweep the problem under the rug, or at least wait for a better time to come clean.
Instead, Samsung chose to recall millions of Note 7 units, at a cost that is estimated to reach more than a billion dollars. For reference, that’s Motorola’s entire revenue in the first quarter of 2016. Furthermore, the recall was announced during the hugely important fall season, just days before LG and Apple announced their Note 7 competitors – the V20 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Even if you believe that Motorola is in its own rights to call out Samsung, this little stunt comes off as hypocritical. After all, a cursory Google search reveals headlines like:
- Man injured after Motorola Droid 2 ‘exploded in his ear during phone call’
- No “charred” feelings; Motorola Moto X catches on fire
- Cell phone [Droid Bionic] battery catches fire, burns hacker’s tail at Defcon
Or how about one of the several battery recalls from Moto’s parent, Lenovo:
The sad, unavoidable reality is phones and other electronics sometimes catch fire or explode, and there’s little we can do about it. It happens regularly, with devices from Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG, and, yes, Lenovo and Motorola.
That’s why Motorola’s attack seems very misguided, at best.
It’s not the first time Moto takes on Samsung on shaky grounds. Just a few weeks ago, Moto took to social media to call out Samsung for “stealing” the Always On Display feature. But Motorola forgot to mention that Nokia used the same feature (which is hardly innovative in any case) on its Lumia Windows phones, months before the Moto X came out with it.
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