Re-launch of Galaxy Note 7 sales in South Korea postponed: What's cooking?

Samsung Electronics is urging consumers worldwide to stop using Galaxy Note 7 smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible.

Last Updated: Sep 25, 2016, 17:24 PM IST
 Re-launch of Galaxy Note 7 sales in South Korea postponed: What's cooking?

Samsung Electronics is urging consumers worldwide to stop using Galaxy Note 7 smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible.

As more reports of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones catching fire emerged even after the company's global recall, Samsung Electronics has been urging consumers worldwide to stop using the smartphones immediately and exchange them as soon as possible,

In the latest, the company on Sunday announced that it was delaying the start of new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone sales in South Korea by three days to October 1, a move it says is needed for speedy completion of the ongoing recall in the country. 

Samsung announced on September 2 a recall of at least 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7smartphones in 10 markets, including South Korea, due to a faulty battery causing the phones to catch fire, offering refunds or replacement devices using safe batteries. 

The firm hopes to complete the recall quickly and restart sales in the fourth quarter to salvage earnings, but the latest hitch in South Korea underscore continuing challenges in those efforts. 

Though product exchanges in South Korea began on Monday, only about 200,000 affected customers have turned in their devices - which Samsung says represents half of affected customers and a recall pace that is much slower than other markets such as Singapore and the United States.

Samsung hopes to restart new sales in affected markets once it makes enough progress with the recalls, having announced plans to restart sales in Australia and Singapore in October, but the nearly month-long recall process has provided additional stumbles and embarrassment for the firm. 

Continued reports of Note 7 fires and damages after the recall announcement, along with warnings or outright bans from aviation authorities on the use or charging of the Note 7 on aircraft, forced Samsung to ask affected customers to immediately turn off their phones to prevent further damage. 

Samsung apologised on Sunday for the confusion caused by the delay and said it would do its best to resolve the current Note 7 situation quickly. 

Will it Restore Customer Confidence?

The Note 7 debuted to rave reviews in August thanks to its speed, new software features and not least the estimated nine hours it would run between charges.

Time also is a factor in marketing and making the phones. In 2015, Samsung moved up its unveiling of its new Galaxy Note model to August from September, seeking a leg up on Apple's September iPhone upgrades.

Samsung's recall of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phones highlights the challenge electronics makers face in packing ever more battery power into ever thinner phones, while rushing for faster release dates.

(With Agency inputs)