Samsung has issued a worldwide recall of the new Galaxy Note 7 over fears of exploding batteries. According to a report by BBC, the decision follows reports from the United States and South Korea of the phone exploding or catching fire, during or after charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was only just released two weeks ago, on August 19.
According to Samsung, as of the time the recall was issued, only 35 reports of exploding batteries had been reported worldwide, but they had confirmed “a battery cell issue” leading to the recall.
“… 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.”
Samsung also indicated that they would voluntarily replace existing devices “with a new one over the coming weeks.” As CNN notes, that’s over 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s.
The recall comes just one week before Apple is expected to present its new iPhone, and may represent a significant stumbling block for Samsung, Apple’s main competitor. Samsung posted significant record earnings in the past quarter, and the Galaxy Note 7 was very well-received by critics — but for many, having to return their new device and wait until Samsung issues a new one may prove to be too much of a hassle, especially if Apple is unveiling a shiny new iPhone at the height of their frustration.
Prior to the recall, Samsung had predicted that demand for their phones and tablets would continue to increase throughout the remainder of the year. Now, it’s anyone’s guess, but their stock has only seen a minor dip since the recall announcement was made.
Several images and videos of fire-damaged Note 7s have already shown up on social media. YouTube user Ariel Gonzalez shared a video of his fire-damaged phone, alleging that the device had “caught fire” shortly after being unplugged from the charger.
“Came home from work, put it to charge for a little bit before I had class, and, went to put it on my waist, and, it caught fire.”
Users on Kakao Story, a South Korean social media site, also shared images and stories of burnt Note 7s.
“There was another explosion of the Galaxy Note 7. It was my friend’s phone. A Samsung employee checked the site and he is currently in talks over the compensation with Samsung. You should use its original charger just in case and leave the phone far away from where you are while charging.”
According to the Chinese man whose Galaxy Note 7 exploded, it had been plugged in overnight when he heard a “sudden bang.” Upon investigating, he found his device literally in flames. And while there were no injuries or serious damage to anything but the phone, there easily could have been; it’s a scary thought that it could just as easily been sitting on the bed next to him while he slept.
Meanwhile, Samsung has indicated that their preparations for the recall should take about two weeks. In the meantime, if you already have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, it might be best to leave it unplugged and away from anything flammable.
“… our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung.”
“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.”
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]