Burned Again

Samsung halts sales of the Galaxy Note 7 — again

Samsung to halt production of Galaxy Note 7 phones. For now.

Things just keep getting worse for Samsung.

More than five weeks ago, the Korean electronics giant recalled its newest flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7, for its tendency to catch fire or explode. Now the replacement phones are also catching fire, and Samsung has halted sales altogether.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the company has temporarily halted production of the Galaxy Note 7, after new reports emerged indicating that replacement Note 7s had begun exploding as well. Samsung’s move follows the decision by all the major cell carriers to stop exchanging and replacing the Note 7 with new Note 7s.

 

“We are temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note 7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters,” Samsung said in a statement. The company last addressed the issue of the exploding batteries in replacement Note 7s in a vague statement on Oct. 7.

“We continue to move quickly to investigate the reported case to determine the cause and will share findings as soon as possible,” Samsung said. “We remain in close contact with the [Consumer Product and Safety Commission] throughout this process. If we conclude that a safety issue exists, we will work with the CPSC to take immediate steps to address the situation.”

The Consumer Product and Safety Commission did not respond to multiple requests for comment from VICE News. The federal agency previously issued a recall of its own, telling consumers not to use the Note 7.

A number of airlines and the FAA are also telling customers to leave their Galaxy Note 7s at home, lest they go up in flames during a flight. As it turned out, this reportedly happened to a replacement Note 7 on a Southwest Airlines flight anyway.

In the immediate term, the Note 7 recall and the replacement Note 7 fires won’t really affect Samsung’s bottom line. The Note 7 itself doesn’t account for a dominant amount of Samsung phone shipments, and Apple is the only competitor with a high-end “phablet” that competes with the Note 7. As mobile technology analyst Ian Fogg points out, the lasting damage will likely be to Samsung’s brand.  

But with deep-pocketed rival Google now making its own play for the high-end smartphone market with its Pixel lineup, and Chinese rivals like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi making competitive, cheaper phones, Samsung has to be getting worried.

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