The Galaxy Note 7 was supposed to be the device that consolidated Samsung's lead at the top of the global smartphone market, and the initial reviews would have, no doubt, made the company executives happy about their product. However, the company was soon forced to recall over 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units after dozens of users took to the online social media, claiming that the devices were catching fire while charging. While the company has questioned the veracity of many of the reports, the fact still remains that several others have indeed been proven to be true; and the company itself, has acknowledged as much. According to Samsung Electronics, the fault actually lies not so much with the device itself, as with the batteries that are manufactured by a Samsung group company called Samsung SDI.
With the recall process currently underway, Samsung Electronics has now announced that it has gotten back over 60% of the Galaxy Note 7 units that it had recalled in South Korea and the United States. The company released a statement earlier today, saying that it is hoping to replace all the recalled devices "quickly and efficiently". The company was also recently asked by regulators in South Korea to extend the refund period until the end of this month so that people who are stuck with the older units can return their handsets for a full refund even after the expiry of the originally-announced deadline. Starting October 1st, Samsung is slated to re-start sales of the new Galaxy Note 7 SKUs, which are said to come with batteries manufactured by a Chinese firm called Amperex Technology Limited (ATL) instead of Samsung SDI.
With all the controversy surrounding its latest flagship phablet, Samsung Electronics faces a stiff challenge in assuring people about its quality control standards. Even if the company is able to convince people about the safety of the newer versions of its Galaxy Note 7 units, market analysts are worried that the overall financial damage from this controversy can be well in excess of $5 billion. The company, however, has put a brave face publicly, and claimed that around 90% of the people returning their devices are preferring to get a new Galaxy Note 7 instead of shifting loyalties to a different brand. Samsung will be hoping that trend continues when general sales resume over the next few days.