Samsung permanently discontinues Note 7

In a filing with South Korean regulators on Tuesday, Samsung Electronics has said that it would be permanently halting production (and sales) of the embattled smartphone. This news comes a day after they had ‘temporarily’ suspended sales and exchanges of the device after replacement sets that had allegedly solved the battery issue continued to catch fire, with at least 8 reported cases.

“Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7,” the company said.

The news also follows Samsung’s worst single-day performance in the stock market in eight years, where its stock dropped a whopping 8%, after a 3.3% fall yesterday (as of 10 Oct, 0925 GMT +8). While they had initiated a global recall of the 2.5 million sets initially produced over a month ago, their attempts at rectifying the issue did not work, and replacement units also began catching fire in consumers’ hands.

The much hyped smartphone, for which we had also been writing a review, has ended up damaging the brand far more severely than anyone could have imagined. After almost universal praise for the device and its features, the Note 7’s improper quality control and poorly handled recall process has killed the device.

Our Note 7 review unit, in silver
Our Note 7 review unit, in silver

Samsung has as of yet made no comment to indicate that it will reimburse customers, many of whom have invested into hundreds of dollars of accessories for the device. Samsung’s Singapore division is also yet to release a statement. However, earlier today, Samsung had released a statement which asked all carrier and retail partners to halt sales and exchanges of the Note 7. They also recommended all users to power down and stop using both the old and new Note 7 units.

This sudden move to completely discontinue the device points to a flaw that is far more serious than previously imagined, or it goes to reason that a second round of recalls and replacements would have been able to solve the issue. Instead, the fault seems to lie in an inherent design flaw of the Note 7.

The timing to unify the naming scheme of the Galaxy S and Note series could also not have come at a worse moment for the South Korean company, for many consumers have begun associating the “Galaxy 7” series as dangerous and prone to fires. Airlines have also begun implementing blanket bans on the Note series, “Galaxy 7” series, and in some cases all Samsung devices.

The failure of the smartphone has also put Samsung’s competitors in prime position to lure its customers, many of whom are swearing off the brand completely. Both the recently launched Google Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus are set to enjoy the maximum benefit from this situation.

With regards to Singapore, all three telcos (M1, Singtel, and Starhub) have also halted sales of the beleaguered device, with no mention of it in their online stores or updated promotional materials. Third party retailers like Mobyshop have also pulled the Note 7 from their storefronts, and today’s announcement ensures that we will not be seeing it for sale again. A pity, then, for the Note 7 truly was a great phone — perhaps the best of 2016 — save for the fiasco with the fires.

Source - WSJ.

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