Samsung has announced an unprecedented recall of the Galaxy Note 7 just weeks after launching the well-received smartphone. Sales have been halted globally, and over the coming weeks Samsung will issue replacements to anyone affected. The issue is related to the phone's battery, with some scattered reports that the cell can explode while charging; Samsung says 35 Note 7 handsets have been found with the issue, or 24 per million sold.
Korean news agency Yonhap first reported that Samsung was preparing the recall yesterday, and a spokesperson later confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that sales had been halted in the company's native country of South Korea. Yonhap said that Samsung was in discussions with carriers including Verizon Wireless regarding how to handle the recall process.
Incident comes as Samsung Mobile was building momentum
According to an unnamed Samsung official that spoke earlier to Yonhap, the vast majority of Note 7 phones should be unaffected, despite the sweeping recall. "Products installed with the problematic battery account for less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume sold," said the official. "The problem can be simply resolved by changing the battery, but we'll come up with convincing measures for our consumers."
The incident comes at a time when Samsung was just starting to build up momentum after years of slipping profits. The critically acclaimed Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge helped turn around the mobile division's earnings in the first half of this year, and the Galaxy Note 7 was no less well received upon its launch last month.
Details of how the recall program will work in each market are to follow later.