Mobile Tech

Samsung Recalls Millions of Galaxy Note 7s Over Fire Issue

Samsung is recalling millions of its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones globally after reports that the devices can catch fire while charging. The South Korean company is also halting sales of the new device around the world.

Samsung — currently the world’s biggest selling smartphone maker — said Friday that there have been 35 cases reported worldwide of problems with the Note 7’s battery. Customers have reported that the smartphone has caught on fire while charging.

Samsung said in a statement, “For customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.” About 2.5 million of the phones have been sold, according to various news reports.

According to CNN, Samsung said devices in China don’t appear to be affected because the company used another battery supplier there. It was unclear if models sold in China would nevertheless be recalled.

Verizon said Friday it is waiving the Note 7’s restocking fee through Sept. 30 if customers wish to return the device, according to a report in the Verge. Sprint said it will offer Note 7 owners a “similar device” so they’re not left without a smartphone during the recall process.

This recall is an embarrassing setback for Samsung, which has enjoyed healthy sales over the past few months. The Galaxy S7 has been a successful product, the Note 7 has received positive reviews, and the Gear S3 smartwatch was introduced at the IFA consumer electronics trade show this week.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Samsung, as Apple gets ready to unveil the iPhone 7 on Sept. 7. Apple will also likely introduce its new Apple Watch 2.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].