It looked like Samsung was well poised to steal some of Apple’s thunder by releasing its Note 7 phablet with a redesigned appearance and wraparound screen ahead of Apple’s iPhone 7 event. But following reports from users around the world about a battery issue that has caused some handsets to catch fire or explode, Samsung has now announced plans to recall every single Note 7 sold in order to prevent further damage and has also abandoned today’s scheduled Note 7 launch in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
After a thorough investigation, Samsung was able to discover the main culprit of exploding Notes: a battery cell issue. As of yesterday, the company knew about 35 globally reported cases of exploding Notes and has now stopped sales of the device because “our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung”.
Here’s Samsung’s statement in full:
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.
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 South Korean company should be praised for acknowledging the issue and taking swift action so quickly, before it blew out of proportion and made the evening news, but it remains to be seen if this incident will tarnish the Samsung brand.
Photo courtesy PhoneArena.