Galaxy Note 7 recall 'bad timing'

A burnt Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Mr. Ni 666666 / Baidu)
A burnt Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Mr. Ni 666666 / Baidu)

Samsung's recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 phone couldn't have come at a worse time - just days before rival Apple is expected to unveil the next iPhone.

The Korean company has halted the sale of the phones in 10 markets, including New Zealand, as it investigates claims the batteries can explode and catch fire.

Samsung has shipped 2.5 million of the phones, which sell for about $1599. The problem has been isolated to the battery.

Time magazine deputy tech editor Alex Fitzpatrick told CNN overnight that images of burnt phones that are spreading online are a bad look for the company.

"This is going to be a huge PR nightmare for Samsung, and it's just a few days until Apple unveils what's likely to be the iPhone 7."

Galaxy Note 7 recall 'bad timing'

What the Galaxy Note 7 is supposed to look like (Samsung / supplied)

Samsung New Zealand says it will replace any Galaxy Note 7 phones, and other Samsung smartphones aren't affected.

"This is just really bad timing on Samsung's part, especially as it was just emerging as a really strong competitor with Apple," said Mr Fitzpatrick.

"Samsung really makes some of the best Android smartphones out there."

Galaxy Note 7 recall 'bad timing'

A burned-out Note 7 (Ariel Gonzalez / YouTube)

Samsung says there have been at least 35 reported cases, none in New Zealand. The company has offered to replace Kiwi customers' Note 7s with new ones "over the coming weeks".

"We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible."

Spark, 2degrees and Vodafone have now offered to replace the the phones.

Spark is offering to replace units with a new Note 7 or a different phone at any of its stores, while Vodafone said it was coordinating the local recall with Samsung and customers would be contacted.

Spark has also ceased sales of the phone.

2degrees says customers should take it back into the store they bought it from, or if purchased online, go into any 2degrees outlet. The company's offering either an exchange for a different device, a temporary device until the fixed Note 7s are out, or a full refund.

Otherwise, owners can call 0800SAMSUNG to find out what to do with their device.

The Galaxy Note 7 was still being sold on the Vodafone website as of Saturday morning. Spark's site lists it as out of stock and the company has said it won't be selling them until further notice.

Noel Leeming's site has it listed, but generates an error page if you attempt to buy one. Harvey Norman doesn't list it at all.

Newshub. / NZN