'Exploding' Samsung phones force worldwide Note 7 recall

  • 02/09/2016
'Exploding' Samsung phones force worldwide Note 7 recall

Samsung has issued a global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones and will prepare replacement devices for phones already sold, amid claims of the phones catching fire.

Images of burnt phones, which had exploded while charging, have been shared online.

"Because our customers' safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7," Samsung said in a statement on its global website.

"For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks."

Samsung blamed the problem on a "battery cell issue".

Faults with the new premium flagship device could deal a major blow to the South Korean giant, which was counting on the Galaxy Note 7 to maintain its strong mobile earnings momentum against Apple's new iPhones expected to be unveiled next week.

"This is some major buzz-kill for Samsung, especially given all of the hard-earned excitement that products like the Note 7 have been garnering lately," IDC analyst Bryan Ma says.

"The pending Apple launch puts all the more pressure for them to contain this quickly. The timing of this couldn't have been worse."

Several people posted images and videos of charred Galaxy Note 7s online and said their phones had caught on fire.

"Be careful out there, everyone rocking the new Note 7, might catch fire y'all," one user said in a YouTube clip showing a burnt Note phone. It was not immediately possible to confirm the veracity of the clip.

Samsung New Zealand has been contacted for comment.