Samsung is recalling 2.5 million Galaxy Note7 units
South Korea, Seoul – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: haveSSNLF) is recalling all Galaxy Notes 7 smartphones due to a problem with the battery. The Asian company said the phone could “explode” because the battery tends to catch on fire after a first charge.
The world’s largest smartphone maker is going through one of the biggest recalls of smartphones after they receive complaints of the $885 phone igniting while charging. On the official statement, Samsung said there had been 365 global cases. The enterprise halted all sales of the device.
As they can’t tell which phones are affected among the 2.5 million Note 7s they sold, all owners can swap it for a new one over the coming weeks. Even when Samsung says only 24 out of each million phones are faulty, customer safety is their priority.
The big recall will surely hit the company’s leadership on the mobile industry. High sales of the Galaxy S7 gave Samsung the most profitable quarter in nearly two years. They rely on its Galaxy phones to helm their mobile business, where they have intense competition from Apple (AAPL) and Huawei.
With less than a week for Apple’s annual event, the timing couldn’t be worse for Samsung’s recall
Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s handset division, expressed regret over the recall and said it would affect the business in South Korea and the United States.
“I can’t comment on exactly how much the cost will be,” he said at a conference this Friday, “but it pains my heart that it will be such a big number.”
Dong-jin explained there was a “tiny problem” in the manufacturing process. The phone took off in 10 countries in North America, Asia, and the Middle East. Different markets had different battery supplier. Models in China feature a different battery and are not part of the recall. Consumers in South Korea may get a full refund.
The exchange program will work in all the markets the Note7 reached. Samsung will take around two weeks to replace the smartphones.
Americans will have to pay a fee to replace their Galaxy Note7s
Samsung first suspended shipments in South Korea to conduct the quality test and identify the issue. Then, they started to unload devices from cargo shipments and send back socks already abroad.
Samsung will soon provide details of the exchange program, although U.S carriers already shared their thoughts: T-Mobile said it suspended sales of the device in all channels, while Verizon added all customers would have to pay a fee to return or exchange the phone.
In South Korea, customers can change the phone starting Sept. 19.