Looks like it’s the end of the road for Samsung and its problem-stricken flagship, the Galaxy Note 7. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both report that the South Korean company has finally pulled the plug on the smartphone, discontinuing it with immediate effect.
The move will not be seen as a surprise, especially given what has transpired over the last few days. At least five confirmed cases of supposedly “safe” Galaxy Note 7 replacement units have caught fire on its own in the US, prompting Samsung to temporarily stop production and then requesting a halt in sales of the device. It also stopped all ongoing exchange programmes for the device globally.
What began as isolated cases quickly escalated into a full-blown crisis, as reports of “exploding” Galaxy Note 7 began popping up shortly after it became available in late August. Initially, Samsung moved quickly and identified the root cause to be due to issues with battery cells sourced from one of its suppliers. However, “safe” units with cells not sourced from the identified supplier remained defective as well.
Unable to positively identify what was causing the issues, Samsung ordered a stop to production, sales, and the exchange programme. And now, it is killing off the device entirely.
The following is Samsung’s statement on the matter:
Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.
This comes shortly after the company is encouraging all owners globally to return their smartphones for a full refund. It is estimated that the company sold 2.5 million units globally before the first recall.
The discontinuation of the device leaves a gaping hole in Samsung’s smartphone lineup, as the company faces its stiffest competition in the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus; its previous flagship, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, were released in February this year.