Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 launched on Aug. 19 to rave reviews, but after just a few weeks on the market, the world’s most popular smartphone maker is now halting sales of the handset and issuing a global recall following reports that it can catch fire or explode during charging.
In a statement about the matter, Samsung said it is “committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously.”
According to the Samsung, 35 cases of battery issues have been reported globally since Sept. 1. Now the company is working with its suppliers to determine which handsets could be affected by the batteries.
“Because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7,” a company spokesperson said. “For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.”
For US customers who already purchased a Note7, Samsung said it is working with its carrier partners to “announce the details of the U.S. product exchange program as soon as today.”
The battery issue couldn’t have come at a worse time for Samsung. The company was riding a wave of excitement following the release of its Galaxy S7 and hoped to continue that positive sales momentum into the fall with the Note7. Now, however, the company will have to recall the Note7, putting a dent in its profits and potentially shaking consumer confidence in the brand.
It doesn’t help matters that Apple is expected to announce its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus during a major press event on Sept. 7. As a result, consumers could simply decide to abandon plans to purchase a Samsung device in favor of an iPhone.
Samsung already began to see how the battery problem could impact its bottom line on Sept. 1 when it saw its market value cut by $7 billion. A recall, however, could prove far worse for the company.
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Samsung’s full statement:
In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue. To date (as of September 1) 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 Note7. For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.
We are working with our carrier partners to announce the details of the U.S. product exchange program as soon as today.
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.