In just over two months, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has gone from smartphone star to epic failure, with the South Korean firm confirming today that it is permanently halting production of the device. Linked to numerous battery-related fires, the Galaxy Note 7 could end up costing Samsung many billions of dollars.
Launched in early August, the Galaxy Note 7 appears to have had a flaw that caused the battery’s positive and negative poles to come into contact, generating enough heat to start a fire in some cases. After temporarily stopping sales in the U.S. on Sept. 2, Samsung began an exchange program for consumers, but the replacement devices were quickly being blamed for fires as well.
One of the more dramatic incidents involved a reported replacement phone that caught fire on board a Southwest Airlines plane preparing to depart from Kentucky’s Louisville International Airport on Oct. 5, although no injuries were reported. In another case over the weekend, a Kentucky man with a replacement Galaxy Note 7 was treated for smoke inhalation after he said he woke up to find his bedroom filled with smoke.
‘The Right Move’
Yesterday, Samsung said it was “temporarily adjusting” its production schedule and would ask its carrier and retail partners to halt sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while investigations into phone-related fires continued. However, the company issued a statement today saying it would put an end to production of the smartphone.
“Taking our customers’ safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7,” according to the statement.
Elliot Kaye, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said that decision was “the right move.” His agency has been investigating safety issues linked to the phone since early September, and worked with Samsung to issue…