Samsung recently confirmed that the company will recall all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones worldwide following reports of combustions. The recall will affect millions of devices, possibly making it the most high-profile consumer electronic recall in modern history.
Galaxy Note 7 Sales Halted
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 tablet was released less than a month ago. The smartphone was received with glowing reviews unlike the previous versions of the Note series. Samsung has so far sold about 2.5 million units of the Galaxy Note 7. The company told media that it intends to replace all of the devices.
The recall has been prompted by reports of the smartphone catching fire while connected to a power outlet for charging. The company said it has so far received 35 reports of the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire in this manner. Samsung has confirmed 24 of these incidents were caused by defective Galaxy Note 7 phones.
Anecdotes about the phone combusting have been reported in South Korean and international media, as well as on the internet. The reports certainly raise questions regarding the safety of the Galaxy Note 7.
Samsung is still making preparations to enforce the recall. The company estimated that it would take about two weeks to recall all the devices.
Explosions Connected to the Battery
Initial investigations have concluded that the fault lies with the battery of the Galaxy Note 7, rather than internal circuitry, power adapters or a similar component. Also, the explosions were reported when the smartphones were being charged, rather than when the battery was running on power.
An unnamed Samsung official told the South Korean News Agency Yonhap that the batteries in question were sourced from China and Korea. However, the defective batteries seem to have been sourced from Korea. Though the problem affects only a small percentage of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold, Samsung is recalling all devices as a precautionary measure. Considering that millions of units were sold, the defective battery problem could affect about one out of every 42,000 Galaxy Note 7 users worldwide.
At a press conference, President of Samsung Mobile Koh Dong-jin apologized to customers for any inconvenience caused and emphasized the importance of safety.
An Untimely Setback
The recall couldn’t have come at a worse time for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 had a good head start and the device is still being introduced worldwide. Samsung would have had a great market advantage over Apple before the iPhone 7 releases had the battery problem never occurred.
The recall is also humiliating and embarrassing to Samsung. The company just recovered from mobile sales that have been stagnating for the past two years. The sales picked up this year with the release of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones. The Galaxy Note 7 release maintained the upward tick.
Samsung, however, is not alone in embarrassing gadget recalls. Rival Apple recalled the Beats Pill XL last year due to an overheating battery. Several years ago, Apple’s iPhone 4 was released with serious antennae problems; the company came close to a recall that would have cost billions of dollars.