In the race to sell smartphones, it turns out that Apple was the tortoise and Samsung was an exploding hare. Sources tell Bloomberg that Samsung rushed the Galaxy Note 7 to market to take advantage of what the company had discovered would be an unexciting iPhone 7 from Apple. The sources say suppliers were under pressure to quickly deliver new features for the Note 7—including a more powerful battery—which resulted in a production error at one supplier that caused faulty batteries, which were not uncovered during the rushed testing process.
Reports of battery fires and explosions after the Note 7 went on sale led to a global recall, which experts say was bungled by Samsung. "Clearly, they missed something," says Bloomberg analyst Anthea Lai. "They were rushing to beat Apple and they made a mistake." The debacle is believed to have wiped around $14 billion off Samsung's market value, while Apple's stock price is soaring despite what Brian Solomon at Forbes calls a "boring" new iPhone that offers slight refinements instead of eye-catching new features. "It appears that more of the same, rather than top-of-the-line innovation, was the way to win this year," he writes. (Read more Galaxy Note stories.)