In a serious blow to its global resurgence as the world’s most popular smartphone maker, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is preparing a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 due to a manufacturing default, according to a report from South Korea published Thursday.
The Yonhap News Agency claims that Samsung will announce the recall in less than a week, following reports that a number of Note 7’s batteries exploded while being charged.
According to the report the defect in the phones appears to be due to an issue with the battery, with Samsung set to announce the result of its investigation into the phone explosions either “this weekend or early next week” at the latest.
“The most important thing is the safety of our customers and we don’t want to disappoint our loyal customers,” an unnamed Samsung official told Yonhap.
“Products installed with the problematic battery account for less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume sold,” the official added. “The problem can be simply resolved by changing the battery, but we’ll come up with convincing measures for our consumers.”
The recall is said to not come Friday as Samsung is in talks with partners including Verizon Communications, Inc. over the issue.
News of the potential recall followed a report from Reuters Wednesday that Samsung had delayed shipping of the Note 7 as it scrambled to work out why some phones had been catching fire.
While there is no question that the news is a serious blow to Samsung at a time where its sales were surging off the back of its excellent Galaxy S7 and highly positive reviews for Note 7, some perspective is needed: many manufacturers do occasionally ship products with defects, with Apple, despite its early tagline “it just works”, sitting at the top of the list.
Obviously exploding phones are not a good look, but the problem is only said to affect less than 0.1 percent of phones and if Samsung decides to do a full recall you’ve got to give the company credit for corporate responsibility, after all if this was an iPhone, Apple would simply be denying any liability.
“We don’t have any intention to delay (the announcement) or hide (the result of investigation),” Yonhap’s source stated. “The decision will be made in consideration of maximum consumer benefit,” and that speaks volumes as to how Samsung is approaching the issue.