DJ Koh, the head of Samsung’s mobile business, revealed the results of the investigation of the several Note 7 fire incidents that have been reported since the device went on sale on August 19.
The Note 7 will be recalled worldwide. Sales have been suspended, and Samsung is working on preparing replacement units for the affected devices. The process of preparing replacements will take about two weeks, according to the company.
Samsung has collected reports about 35 incidents of the Note 7 malfunctioning while charging. As suspected, the problem is related to the battery. Samsung says that just 24 units in every million (or one in 42,000 units) is at risk of fire, but the recall is conducted out of an abundance of caution.
More details about the actual recall process will be revealed by Samsung on a per market basis.
Previously, an unnamed company official told Korean media that the issue is related to the battery pack and that the problem is estimated to affect around 0.1% of all the Note 7 that were shipped so far.
This is a huge setback for Samsung, especially because of the timing: Apple is about to unveil a new generation of the iPhone, including a large-screen Note 7 competitor. Safety fears and the prospect of a recall may send customers towards Apple and other Samsung competitors, ruining the Note 7’s excellent debut in the market.
Update: Full Samsung statement below:
Samsung is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. In response to recently reported cases of the new Galaxy Note7, we conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.
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. However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.
For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks.
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.
Let us know your thoughts!