Rest in peace, Galaxy Note 7. As reported by the Wall Street Journal just recently, Samsung has officially and permanently discontinued all sales and production of its latest phablet release. According to the South Korean mobile giant, it cited the customers’ safety as the primary concern and the main reason for its decision to kill off its newest Galaxy Note offering. The halt in sales and production will apply also to all replacement units.
Yesterday, the world’s biggest seller of smartphone devices had requested all of its wireless carrier and reseller partners to cease sales and exchanges of Galaxy Note 7 units, amidst the continuing reports of overheating incidents, even in supposedly safe replacement devices. For those who have already purchased or exchanged for a Galaxy Note 7, they were offered a complete refund or a swap deal for a different Samsung handset, plus a $25 gift certificate or other add-on.
In early September, an estimated 2.5 million units of the Galaxy Note 7 were already rolled out across the globe, and Samsung had to initiate a recall for all those devices. The company’s recall effort and exchange program was initially going well, but after several reports surfaced that even replacement units are experiencing the same issues, the South Korean phone maker decided to adjust its production schedule for the phablet, pending an investigation into the latest incident reports.
Obviously, this latest development will hurt Samsung, not only with regards to its branding, but also its finances. As reported by Reuters, various industry watchers have projected that the company stands to lose around $17 billion as a result of discontinuing all sales and production for a flagship device such as the Galaxy Note 7. Moreover, its stock price has also taken a hit -- it fell by 8 percent, the worst decrease since eight years ago when investors wiped about $19 billion off the value of the company.
The unfortunate thing is: it is far from being over for Samsung and for Galaxy Note 7 owners, who now face the prospect of having to get rid of their devices. Some customers have already complained about their rather tricky situation -- how can they return their device when even UPS and FedEx are refusing to courier their handset? To deal with this, Samsung has deployed specially designed recall boxes. Customers are to place their unit inside an anti-static bag, and then put it inside a cardboard box, which goes inside yet another cardboard box, which finally is placed inside a thermally insulated box lined with ceramic fiber, which should keep fires out. Customers are also provided with a pair of blue latex gloves.
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