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Galaxy Note 7 Smartphones Recalled Because They Can Catch Fire While Charging

Sep 6, 2016

Just a few weeks after introducing a new flagship smartphone, Samsung has recalled millions of Galaxy Note 7s because of reports that the phones have caught fire during charging.

Samsung halted Galaxy Note 7 sales in 10 countries, including South Korea and the U.S., after learning of the battery problems in some of the phones, CNNMoney reports. Samsung will offer a free replacement phone to the 2.5 million customers who bought the Galaxy Note 7.

Galaxy Note 7 users in the U.S. can exchange their device for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge beginning next week, the company said. Samsung will also refund the purchase price of any accessories specific to the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung will give Galaxy Note 7 users a $25 gift card or bill credit for the inconvenience, CNNMoney reports.

Samsung said it had been alerted to 35 claims of faulty phones worldwide and thus far found 24 devices with problems for every million sold.

Samsung will soon announce details of the recall program but users who are concerned about their Galaxy Note 7's battery should contact a Samsung service center. Galaxy Note 7s sold in China have batteries from a different supplier and are not included in the recall, though Samsung may decide to recall those phones as well.

Target and Amazon stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7 and were working with Samsung to replace the phones already sold in stores and online. Best Buy is no longer selling the Galaxy Note 7, and the company said its customers could return or exchange phone they have already bought.

Wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7. Sprint is offering similar devices for customer use during the recall process.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency had reported five claims of Note 7 phones catching fire while charging, according to CNNMoney. Some unverified pictures on social media show charred devices. A Galaxy Note 7 owner in South Korea told CNNMoney he woke in the middle of the night when he "smelled something burning." He used his older Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to take photos of the Note 7 that he posted online.

The Galaxy Note 7 had received good reviews and praise for interesting new features like an iris scanner that allows the phone user to unlock the device with the eyes. The Galaxy S7 was a popular model early model and Samsung hoped to continue that success with the Galaxy Note 7.

The Galaxy Note 7 sells for $850 (or more). Samsung executives speaking at a news conference declined to estimate the total cost of the recall.

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