Samsung, a huge South Korean company, announced it had been alerted to 35 claims of defective phones worldwide. It had so far found 24 devices with battery issues for every million sold. The U.S. mobile networks sell the Galaxy Note 7 for between $850 and $1,000 and is larger than most smartphones as it is 5.7 inches from corner to corner. It is sometimes referred to as a phablet, a combination of phone and tablet, reports The New York Times.
In South Korea, a Galaxy Note 7 owner said he was awoken in the middle of the night with the smell of something burning. His phone had melted. He used his older model, Samsung, Galaxy Note 2, to photograph the damaged phone and post the pictures online. “I saw small flames on the phone where it was melted,” he told CNNMoney.
Since they are lightweight and powerful, lithium batteries are popular in technology, but are far from perfect. The batteries include volatile and flammable chemical compounds, and can become unstable if overheated or punctured. The battery can then burst into flames or explode, according to the Times.
The recall comes at an inopportune time as Samsung counted on a resurgence with the popularity of the Galaxy Note 7 and its unique features. In a highly competitive market, Apple, Samsung’s major rival, is rolling out their new smartphone in a week’s time. Samsung now faces pressure from Apple on the high end and new Chinese brands on the low end.
In the three-month period ending June 30, Samsung had the biggest share, 22 percent, of the global smartphone market, while Apple held 12 percent, according to research firm IDC, reports CNN. A mobile analyst in Berlin said that Samsung is to be applauded for moving quickly to rectify the battery issue, but they “can’t afford to miss the run up to the holiday season, the Times reports.
More battery-related cases: