Samsung halts Galaxy Note 7 smartphone production

A woman stands outside a newly opened Samsung gallery showcasing its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in downtown Beijing on September13. Samsung halted production of the phone, after reports of burning batteries, including batteries installed as replacements. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (UPI) — Samsung Electronics Co. halted production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after reports the phone’s replacement batteries can ignite.

A statement Monday by the South Korean electronics giant said it is “temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note 7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters,” but a source familiar with the matter said production has been temporarily suspended, the Wall Street Journal reported.

After the smartphone went on sale globally in August, reports arose that phones were catching fire. Samsung initially referred to them as isolated cases relating to mass production issues. It then blamed overheating batteries, and recalled about 2.5 million smartphones in one of the industry’s largest recalls.

The halt in production comes after AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile cellphone carriers in the United States and Telestra in Australia announced they would no longer offer replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones to customers, suggesting they fear the new versions are no safer from the risk of fire than those they replace.

A user in the United States reported last week his Galaxy Note 7 replacement phone spontaneously caught fire, even though it was not plugged in for recharging. On Wednesday smoke poured from a replacement phone aboard a Southwest Airlines plane before departure, causing the cancellation of the flight from Louisville to Baltimore.

Samsung said a new supplier was used for batteries in the replacement phones.

Release of information on the halt in production caused Samsung stock to fall 4.6 percent in Seoul Monday.


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