Careful now: Samsung warns users about sticking stylus in 'wrong way'
Apple had AntennaGate and BendGate. Now Samsung is facing PenGate. The South Korean company responded to criticism on social media Wednesday about its new Galaxy Note 5, acknowledging that the device can break if the stylus is inserted backward into the storage slot. Its advice to customers: read the manual.
The S Pen has a uniform width, making it fit in the slot upside down, and that can cause problems with the smartphone, Samsung said in a statement.
The large-screen Note series comes with a stylus that helps users take notes or draw pictures more precisely than with their fingertips. Previous pens wouldn't fit when inserted incorrectly.
"If you insert the pen in the opposite direction into the Note 5 slot and put force to get it out, it could damage the S pen and the device resulting in malfunctioning," Samsung said. "That doesn't mean that it's a defective product."
Some users complained about the issue on Twitter under the hashtag #PenGate. Samsung said the Note 5 manual already warns of potential misuse of the stylus, and users can get their devices repaired at a local service center.
The Note 5 is aimed primarily at business people and office workers.
The issue is reminiscent of some of Apple's previous missteps with the iPhones.
In 2010, Steve Jobs said some people were holding the iPhone 4 wrong, and that was impeding reception.
Apple subsequently gave away plastic cases to fix what Jobs called "AntennaGate".
Last year, some users complained that their iPhone 6 Plus bent when they sat on it. Apple responded by saying the bending was "extremely rare". Samsung is counting on the Note 5 and the curved-screen Galaxy S6 Edge Plus to help its products stand out from Apple and hundreds of vendors selling smartphones using Google's Android software.
The South Korea-based company released the devices this month to get ahead of the next iteration of iPhones.
They debuted after lackluster sales of the premium Galaxy S6 prompted the company to cut prices.
Its other launched handset, the S6 Edge Plus has a curved screen on one side of the phone and is set to cost over €800 in Ireland.
Despite Samsung still selling more phones overall than Apple, it has slumped in recent years, falling to 21pc of world phone sales. And Apple's iPhone now accounts for well over half the entire industry's profits, despite having just a 14pc market share.