Ready for a massive case of déjà vu? Samsung has halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 (again) following recent reports that its replacement phones – the ones that were supposed to be safe – are still blowing up. Moreover, it’s telling all Note 7 buyers to stop using their devices.
This follows the company reportedly stopping production of the devices recently. Here’s the statement from the company in full:
Samsung will ask all global partners to stop sales and exchanges of Galaxy Note7 while further investigation takes place.
We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.
We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available.
There you have it: if you own a Note 7, stop using it now. All the major carriers will let you trade it in for another device, so go do that now. Replacement devices has burst into flames at least five times that we know of in just 3 weeks of being available.
It’s all rather tragic, really. I called the Note 7 the ‘most complete smartphone ever made’ in my review, but I can’t stand by a device that has caused real injury – and risked death – for users in a few short weeks of availability. Though Samsung will probably release a third, I-promise-it’s-safe-for-real version, at this point, it seems the Note 7’s sales prospects are all but dead.
Samsung is monolithic enough to survive as a whole, but its going to have to work incredibly hard to rebuild user trust for its smartphones going forward. Screwing up once sucks, but is understandable. Screwing up a second time, after promising its replacement devices were completely safe, is pretty much unforgivable. As the Verge put it, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with the Note 7’s design or manufacturing process, and the best thing Samsung could do is stop Note 7 sales altogether.
Rumors suggest Samsung is pushing up the release of the S8 – as soon as February – in order to compensate for the Note 7’s disastrous first months. Here’s to hoping that phone is a little less explosive.
Update: On Tuesday, Samsung confirmed in a statement obtained by Al Jazeera that it is permanently discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7:
We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s.