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Samsung pulls plug on exploding smartphones

Samsung has killed off its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone following widespread reports of the device’s battery exploding.

Manufacture of the phone had already been scaled down before it was stopped permanently after the phone was linked to dozens of spontaneous fires and explosions around the world.

A statement from Samsung said production had been reduced as it carried out a thorough investigation and quality control following complaints of exploding batteries.

However, it added that it was “putting consumer safety as top priority” by calling it a day for the Galaxy Note 7.

All Note 7 owners have been advised to switch off their device and refrain from using it immediately. Customers will be able to get a full refund or swap their Note 7 for other Samsung products.

Industry experts had urged the South Korean company to scrap the phone to limit long-term damage to the brand, but South Korea’s finance minister warned that the country’s exports would be impacted if the company pulled the plug on the phone.

Warnings

Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones in September following several reports of batteries exploding, before insisting that all replaced devices were safe.

It soon emerged though that these supposedly safe phones were catching fire too. A domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a Note 7 starting emitting smoke in the cabin, while a man from Kentucky claims he woke up with his bedroom full of smoke generated by his Note 7.

The replaced devices have been blamed for five fires in the US so far.

Although 45,000 Note 7s had been pre-ordered in Europe, none were actually handed over to customers and the device hadn’t been put on sale in the UK.

Would-be Note 7 customers will instead look to high-end smartphones from Apple and Google and many experts reckon consumer faith in Samsung will take a considerable dent, which will take time and investment to regain.

"The reason consumers prefer brands like Samsung and Apple is because of product reliability,” said Greg Roh at HMC Investment Securities.

“Brand damage is inevitable and it will be costly for Samsung to turn that around again.”

Written by for Comms Express

Image: Aaron Yoo/FlickrADNFCR-1186-ID-801826623-ADNFCR

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