Samsung only released the Galaxy Note 7 two weeks ago, but has decided to recall millions of the phone after reports of several of them exploding while charging. The Note 7 is one of Samsung’s flagship phones, and the recall is an embarrassing setback to the world’s biggest selling smartphone manufacturer.
There have been 35 claims of the phone catching on fire while charging around the world. Samsung said it had found 24 devices with problems for every million sold. Samsung will offer customers a new phone for free to replace all 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s that have been sold thus far.
Business Korea reported that a woman in Korea told how a Note 7 exploded while it was charging. “My boyfriend’s Galaxy Note 7 exploded while charging at night. It’s been less than a week since he started using the phone on the 19th. I woke up by the bang and the smell of smoke. Fortunately, we were not injured in the incident and only our blanket was little burnt.” Other reports of exploding Note 7’s came from China. The company has confirmed that the issue was a battery cell problem.
The Note 7 has a robust cost of $850, so this is a monumental fiasco for the South Korean phone company. When Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile communications business, was asked how much the recall will cost the company he said, “It is a big amount that is heartbreaking.” He did not provide specific numbers though.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible,” the company said.
Samsung said it would take approximate two weeks to prepare for the recall, and the dates that recalls will be available will vary by country. Meanwhile, sales of the Note 7 have been stopped in several countries.
This comes at the wrong time for Samsung, with rival Apple holding a press conference next week to unveil their upcoming iPhone 7 on September 7.
This is a tough break for Samsung, especially after the Note 7 received near perfect reviews from most media outlets including CNET, Trusted Reviews, Tech Radar, Android Authority, and PC Mag, just to name a few.