It goes from bad to worse for Samsung. Earlier today, the South Korean tech giant announced a worldwide halt to the sale and exchange of its recently released Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. Continuing safety concerns were cited, and all Note 7 owners were advised to switch their device off immediately. This follows yesterday’s decision to cease production of the beleaguered device, which initially launched to huge fanfare and made a positive first impression on us.
Now, Samsung has confirmed it will stop making the Galaxy Note 7. According to an AP report, the South Korean company said in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it has made a final decision to stop production for the sake of consumer safety.
The latest Note 7 PR disaster comes just one month after the world’s largest smartphone maker initiated a global recall of 2.5 million devices in ten markets following complaints that its lithium-ion battery exploded while charging.
Just as things looked to be stabilising, reports emerged last week of replacement phones also catching fire.
“Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while an investigation is taking place,” a company statement said. “We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.”
Is the damage already done?
It may be a case of too little, too late from Samsung. Major telecom operators AT&T and T-Mobile had already announced a halt to sales and exchanges of the model on Sunday.
The company said it is working with regulatory bodies in the recall markets.
“No one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property,” said Elliot Kaye, Chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, adding that the production and sales halt was the right move by Samsung. Kaye’s commission is currently investigating reports of phones overheating and burning in the US.
In the wake of Samsung’s Note 7 calamity came reports that the company had fast-tracked production and development of the device to make a statement ahead of Apple’s launch of a “boring” iPhone 7.
Despite this year’s highly-rated Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge doing well, Samsung has struggled to boost sales, squeezed by Apple in the high-end sector and Chinese rivals in the low-end market.
Analysts say the recall could set Samsung back $2 billion (Dh7.3 billion).
Meanwhile, a video posted on YouTube this Saturday has gone viral.