Samsung says it will stop selling the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a spate of fires involving new devices that were supposed to be safe replacements for its recalled models.
The firm says customers with original Note 7 devices or replacements they obtained after the recall should turn off the power and seek a refund or exchange them for different phones.
Consumers advised to turn phones off
South Korean authorities say in a statement they have found a new product defect in the Note 7 and are asking consumers to power them down or to exchange them. The statement does not identify the defect.
Officials from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission echoes the advice in their own statement, adding that they are continuing to investigate at least five incidents of fire or overheating reported since a formal recall was announced on September 15.
“No-one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property,” said Elliot Kaye, chairman of the safety commission. He called Samsung’s decision to suspend all sales “the right move” in light of “ongoing safety concerns”.
The announcement follows several new incidents of overheating last week and deals a further blow to the world’s largest smartphone company. Leading networks are already saying they will stop distributing new Note 7 phones as replacements for the earlier recall.
Cause of problem is still unknown
The new reports raise questions about the cause of the problem. Samsung blames batteries provided by a particular supplier, while assuring consumers that the phone was otherwise safe. In switching to batteries from another supplier, the firm previously said a solution to the problem had been found.
The tech conglomerate reported last week that its overall profits increased in the last quarter, thanks to booming sales in other corporate units that sell computer chips and display screens.
Samsung sells far more units of its Galaxy S7 phones than the more expensive Note 7, but analysts worry the issue could hurt the company’s reputation and overall standing with consumers.
Source: BBC News