Samsung suffered a major blow on Friday when it announced one of the most high-profile recalls in consumer electronics history. Responding to reports that the new Note 7 was susceptible to battery explosions, the company has pulled the plug on public sales and announced plans to replace devices already in consumers’ hands.
The Note 7 showed so much potential when it was first released. The iris scanner, which unlocks the phone hands-free, was a promising upgrade for the company’s note-taking phablet. The ability to write underwater, although a tad niche, showed Samsung was committed to improving the phone’s fundamentals. But then on Wednesday the company took action after reports flooded in of exploding batteries.
Samsung claims that 35 cases of Note 7 battery issues were reported globally, enough for the company to intervene and halt sales. Upon closer investigation of the issue, the company indeed found an issue with the phone’s power storage. Alongside the recall and sales halt, Samsung said it will now work with suppliers to identify which batteries have been affected by the issue.
The recall won’t necessarily hinder the Note 7’s success, but Samsung did need to act fast to avoid the issue spiraling out of control in the public eye. “They need to nip it in the bud right now,” IDC analyst Bryan Ma told Reuters. “The last thing they want is for memes to be spreading on the internet associating the Samsung name with an exploding battery or injury.”
The company said in a statement:
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. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.
Samsung will reach out to current owners to offer a replacement “over the coming weeks.”