Samsung holds back deliveries of Galaxy Note 7 in India after cases of battery fires
Korean giant Samsung is holding back the deliveries of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in India after the company decided to issue a global recall on reports of nearly three dozen devices exploding during or after charging.
The company had unveiled the phone in India on August 11, and is understood to have got bookings for around 20,000 devices.
“To date (as of September 1), there have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” a spokesperson for the company said.
“However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have delayed sales of the Galaxy Note7 in India,” the spokesperson further said.
The 5.7-inch curved screen device, which boasts of an IRIS scanner, had been priced at Rs 59,900 in India.
The company said that it had found a found a “battery cell issue” after it conducted a through investigation. “Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously.
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers,” the company spokesperson said.
Samsung is recalling all the Note 7 smartphones equipped with the batteries it has found to be fire-prone and halted their sales in 10 markets.
At a news conference in Korea on Friday, Koh Dong-jin, head of the company’s smartphone business, expressed regret over the recall.
Koh, who declined to comment on the number of phones needing replacement, said Samsung had sold 2.5 million of the premium devices so far. The manufacturer plans to replace not only phones with faulty batteries sold to consumers, but also retailer inventories and units in transit.
“I can’t comment on exactly how much the cost will be, but it pains my heart that it will be such a big number,” he said.
While recalls in the smartphone industry do happen, including for rival Apple Inc, the nature of the problem for the Galaxy Note 7 is a serious blow to Samsung’s reputation, analysts said.
Many operators across key markets such as the US and Germany have suspended the sale of the model.