The heat is on Samsung right now after it stopped sales of its brand new Galaxy Note around the world and recalled and started replacing the 2.5 million phones already sold.
The South Korean electronics giant said on Friday that because of a problem with the Galaxy Note 7 battery it would cease sales of the new device globally which had been on sale for just two weeks, already selling 2.5 million of the phones to date.
The Samsung Note 7 recall comes at a critical time for Samsung, as on Sept. 7. If the battery problem persists, it could threaten the momentum Samsung has enjoyed over the last few months, fuelled by the success of the .
“There’s definitely damage done and the whole incident is detrimental to Samsung’s image,” said IDC analyst Tay Xiaohan. “The level of damage will depend on how Samsung addresses this issue quickly and solves the problem.”
Samsung received 35 separate reports worldwide tied to what it described only as a “battery cell issue.” It’s working with suppliers to sort out other “affected batteries” in the market.
In recent days, South Korean social media had seen a spate of people posting images of burnt out Galaxy Note 7 devices, claiming they’d overheated or exploded.
The company is also voluntarily replacing every Note 7 already in the market “over the coming weeks.”
Further details on the recall and on the replacement program aren’t yet known.
This isn’t the first time Samsung’s note either. Last year, customers complained of a designthat led to problems when the phone’s stylus was inserted the wrong way.
Counterpoint Research analyst Tarun Pathak said Samsung has “lost the critical window of opportunity” where buyers consider upgrading from older models. In a matter of weeks, many may look to Apple’s upcominginstead, he said.
Samsung will provide more instructions on the replacement process next week, but for now, the company is in damage control after pulling its hottest new phone from the shelves so quickly after launch.
We will update you when we know what existing users of the affected handset are to do.
Here’s Samsung’s statement:
Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. 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. Instructions on the replacement process will be shared next week.
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.