Samsung has confirmed 35 cases of Galaxy Note 7 exploding while being charged, and is offering exchanges but falls short of full recall. Recently we heard the reports that several Galaxy Note 7 units had exploded during charging, then came the new that Samsung has halted shipment of Note 7 devices in Korea while it investigates the issue, and now news is surfacing the the Korean manufacturer may be forced to recall entire lineup of Galaxy Note 7 devices. For now, Samsung has suspended sales of its latest flahship Galaxy Note 7 and is issuing replacements to users who have been affected by device explosion issues.
The news has been leaked by Yonhap News, who earlier broke the news that Samsung has paused the Galaxy Note 7 release. According to an anonymous company official, Samsung is already in talks with Verizon and other major network carriers about a potential full-blown recall, but also noted that only a tiny fraction of the devices are having this problem.
The source said, “Products installed with the problematic battery account for less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume sold.” He added further, “The problem can be simply resolved by changing the battery, but we will come up with convincing measure for our customers.”
Kon Dong-jin, Samsung mobile business president, said on Friday, two week after the Note 7’s launch: “We have received several reports of battery explosions on the Note 7… and it has been confirmed that it was a battery cell problem. There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process so it was very difficult to find out.”
Kon did not divulge the name of the supplier of the battery, but stated that Note 7 being sold in China are powered by batteries from a different supplier and are save from harm. He also said that Samsung is talking to three battery supplier for replacements.
A Samsung spokesman said: “TO date there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.”
“For customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.”
Samsung has started investigating the issue, but we are still waiting for the official statement which might arrive this weekend or early next week. According Yonhab, total recall is imminent, but how and when it will start remains to be seen.
The Source told Yonhab, ” The most important thing is the safety of the customers and we do not want to disappoint our loyal customers.”
Samsung said it would take two weeks to prepare replacement devices of which 2.5 million units had been manufactured and 1 million has been sold already. Stocks of the device is being quarantined in shops and mobile networks across the globe.
Samsung launched Galaxy Note 7 at the end of August in some countries, including the US and South Korea. Shipments in Korea had to be postponed when the news of Note 7 exploding while charging starting emerging from various quarters.
Samsung’s stock has taken a bettering, it plunged by about $7bn over the last couple of days, hardly a week since the launch of Note 7 which was being critically acclaimed as the best phablet ever. Some customers posted online videos and images of phones that caught fire or exploded while charging. One YouTube users Ariel Gonzales showed off his phone, its screen charred and partially melted.
Others have posted images of Note 7 whose USB port sides had melted away. Yet some have their devices completed melted away after the battery explosion. It worth remembering that battery issue are common on new devices when you try to charge them with unofficial chargers and cables.
While Samsung was investigating the issue in Korea, still it went ahead with the launch in other countries including China on Thursday. Company is refusing to discuss how it determines which devices are deemed safe and which could be harmful.
Yonhab News said five or six explosions have been confirmed by customers who are posting pictures of their charred devices on online forums, communities, YouTube and social media. So far no physical injury has been reported.
The Galaxy Note 7 is a high-end phone from Samsung, but considering relatively smaller market for phablet it is not expected to displace S7 and S7 Edge as the main revenue generator for the Korean manufacturer.
This whole Note 7 episode has no doubt put a dent on the company’s reputation but issuing replacements and relaunching the device with new battery is not out of Samsung’s grasp.