Beware the battery: Samsung recalls latest phone model due to explosions

Kate Mitchell

News Editor

The world currently exists in a technological age in which the majority of its individuals orient their lives through the use of numerous electronic devices. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets are just a few of the groundbreaking advancements that have launched the current generation into an era of instantaneous connectivity and accelerated communication. While the human race has benefited greatly from these devices in many respects, it is no secret that these great tools can also unleash their fair share of hazards upon their dependent users.

The billion-dollar South Korean company Samsung has recently ordered a recall on their latest model of smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, due to malfunctions involving the battery. This recall has been ordered on a global scale, after receiving over 35 claims that these faulty devices have caught fire, and in some cases exploded, while charging. Samsung has ceased sales of the Galaxy Note 7 in ten countries, including the United States. However, CNN reports that devices sold in some countries such as China are not a hazard, as a different battery supplier was used for their products.

When released on the market earlier this summer, the Galaxy Note 7 became instantly popular amongst users for several features that set it apart from previous models. These particular phones are programmed with an iris scanner that enables customers to unlock their phones with their eyes. However, these glossy new objects suddenly lost their rapturous glimmer once users began to realize the dangers that the devices possess.

An anonymous Galaxy Note 7 user in South Korea reported to CNNMoney that he arose from sleep in the middle of the night when he smelled something burning. The user inspected his phone and discovered that the device had melted while it had been charging beside where he slept. “I saw small flames on the phone where it was melted,” he reported to CNNMoney.

To date, Samsung has sold over 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7s, and there are reports that they have estimated an alarming 24 faulty devices for every million purchased by customers. Samsung ensures that they will give all Galaxy Note 7 customers a new product in replacement of the faulty one, as well as provide a full refund for the cost of the device. The company wishes to restore good faith with customers to an even greater extent by offering all buyers of the Galaxy Note 7 a $25 gift card or bill credit in order to pay for accessories.

Target and Amazon have begun working alongside Samsung to cease the sale of this product on their store shelves and online bases. Best Buy has also removed the Galaxy Note 7 from their stores, and wish to notify customers that they may exchange or receive a refund for the phone if they have already purchased one.

Samsung is currently advising people who are worried about the state of their batteries to contact the closest Samsung service center. Though the recall is said to take up to two weeks to put into effect, Samsung states that all United States Note 7 customers are able to exchange their phone for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge model starting this week.

CNN reports that U.S. mobile networks are selling these phones for at least $850, so it is no surprise that Samsung is being so generous with their return agreements surrounding the dangerous product.

The American market research and analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that Samsung has accumulated the largest share of the global smartphone market since the end of June this summer. Holding a whopping 22% of the market, Samsung reaped great profits from the popularity of their previous Galaxy S7 models, while main competitor Apple Inc. held only 12% of the market.

When the Galaxy Note 7 was released a month ago, it was expected to help maintain the company’s successful streak throughout the second half of the year. In light of current malfunctions and events with their product line, Samsung will be forced to seriously contemplate their next steps, especially considering that rival Apple will be releasing their latest model onto the market this week.