Samsung halts production on Galaxy Note7 smartphone

James Pearce
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Korean manufacturer forced to issue second recall after reports of replacement Note7's exploding

Samsung has been forced to permanently cease production of its Galaxy Note7 smartphone range after reports of devices it had deemed safe were catching fire.

The South Korean manufacturer stopped production on the phablet, launched in August, after replacement devices were also reported as overheating. It had already announced plans to cease sales of the device.

Note7 owners are expected to be able to exchange the phone for a refund or a different device – the second recall Samsung has made on the Note7 since reports first emerged of them catching fire.

"We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s," the company said.

"For the benefit of consumers' safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production."

The manufacturer also advised all owners of a Note7 to “power down and stop using the device” immediately.

In September, Samsung recalled around 2.5 million Note7s after complaints of exploding batteries, but later insisted all of the replacement devices were safe.

A Kentucky man claimed he had been awoken with a bedroom full of smoke caused by a replacement Note7, while a flight in the US was forced to be evacuated after one of the phones began emitting smoke in the cabin.

Airlines had begun issuing flight bans on the smartphones over safety fears, after numerous reports of the devices exploding.

The recall is a blow for Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker with a 22.4% share of global sales in Q2 2016 (Statista), and comes just weeks after rival Apple, the second biggest phone maker, released its latest flagship, the iPhone 7.

Issues with the Note7 also forced a number of operators into cancelling exchange programs they had set up for the device. In the UK, EE and Vodafone both paused sales and the issuing of replacement devices. In the US, AT&T and T-Mobile stated over the weekend they will not exchange the Note7, both networks are also halting sales of the device.