The Galaxy Note 7 is a goner. Samsung reportedly has put a halt to production of its large-screen phone following news of overheating in its replacement devices, according to South Korean publications such as Yonhap News Agency. An anonymous Samsung official told Yonhap that the halt was done in cooperation with safety regulators from South Korea, China and the US.
Samsung wasn’t available for comment. The move spells an end to the short, controversial and explosive life of the Note 7, which launched as one of the best-reviewed Android phones ever made but quickly became an unprecedented nightmare for Samsung. This incident could put a long-term hurt on its credibility with consumers.
Samsung saw this going so much differently. The Note 7, which hit the market in mid-August, was supposed to solidify Samsung’s lead in the mobile market after a strong showing with its Galaxy S7. The company had just begun to regain its swagger after stumbling the previous year with lackluster products.
Samsung hasn’t officially confirmed plans to stop production of the Note 7 but said Sunday that it was “working diligently with authorities and third party experts” to investigate the problem with the replacement Notes and that “if we determine a product safety issue exists, Samsung will take immediate steps approved by the [Consumer Product Safety Commission] to resolve the situation.”
The Note 7 issues come at the worst possible time for Samsung. Rival Apple in September released its newest iPhones, and Google just introduced its first premium smartphone, the Pixel. Having not one, but two major recalls of a single device deals a blow to Samsung’s finances. The problems could also have consumers running into the arms of its rivals.
“First, the lingering around the official recall, then the incidents with replacement devices that were supposed to have the battery issue rectified will leave a bitter taste in consumers’ mouth for longer than first anticipated,” said Creative Strategies analyst Carolina Milanesi.