Disputes are arising over the recent discovery that Samsung is unwilling to take responsibility for warranty replacements for Galaxy S3 smart phones because of premature screen burn-in.
Disputes are arising over the recent discovery that Samsung is unwilling to take responsibiliity for warranty replacements for Galaxy S3 smart phones because of premature screen burn-in. The AMOLED screen, used in the popular Galaxy S3, is often susceptible to 'burn-in' or a permanent discoloration of particular areas of the screen. Burn-in is generally caused by a combination of inconsistency in the material used to make the screen and the same image being shown shown on the screen for long periods of time, such as a 'splash screen' or menu screen.
For the past week or so, many Korean bloggers and community members have been hotly debating Samsung's recent denials of problems with the new AMOLED screens.
The problem showed up almost immediately after Samsung introduced the AMOLED screen with the Galaxy S2. Screen burn-in was a frequent problem with the S2 and Samsung had to offer warranty repair of the screen or exchange of the defective unit with a new one. They apparently learnt their lesson with the Galaxy S3 and have solved the problem – not by rectifying the underlying problem but sneakily changing the product manual to avoid in-warranty repairs.
Samsung warns its users in the S3 product manual 'Do not operate your device with a paused screen for a long time." Further the manual states flatly "We are not responsible for any problem arising from the said cause." This effectively shifts the responsibility of screen burn-in to the consumer, disregarding any manufacturing or technology problem with the new screens, allowing Samsung to avoid any warranty replacements of the screens.
The bigger problem lies in the fact that most customers do not pay much attention to the product manual before purchasing a new device and won't realize that Samsung is using this tactic to avoid replacement of defective units.
According to Chosun
, Samsung has apologized and bowed down to customer complaints. They now offer free repairs in case of image retention or burn-in problems of the screen. The new sentence on the user manual is just to serve as a reminder to consumers that AMOLED screen is susceptible to such issue as there are too many incidents that have occured on the previous GALAXY S II model. The company is planning to revise the manual and remove the sentence to prevent further misunderstanding. However, this incident has made known that it is a serious issue to Samsung and could potentially have huge financial implications if many units require repair. Samsung has expected 10 millions units to be sold in July alone.