On 2 September 2016, Samsung suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and announced a voluntary recall (referred to as a "product exchange program"), after it was found that a manufacturing defect in the phones' batteries had caused some of them to generate excessive heat, resulting in fires and explosions.
How it all started
A formal US recall was announced on 15 September 2016. Samsung exchanged the affected phones for a new revision, which utilized batteries sourced from a different supplier. However, in early October 2016, reports emerged of incidents where these replacement phones also caught on fire.
On 10 October 2016, in response to the new incidents, Samsung announced that it would once again suspend sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and recall all devices worldwide. Owners of the original Galaxy Note 7 phone were asked to switch off their phones and replace them with another Samsung model.
Samsung has announced that it is closing down production of the flagship Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and permanently discontinuing it worldwide.
Many of the air carriers, since the debacle, have banned passengers from carrying Samsung Note 7 on board.
Impact on business
The next day, Samsung also announced that it would permanently discontinue the Galaxy Note 7 and cease its production. The recall had a major impact on Samsung's business in the third quarter of 2016, with the company projecting that its operating profits would be down by 33 percent in comparison to the previous quarter.
In US alone Samsung Electronics Co Ltd formally recalled 1 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, replacing or refunding the flagship phones, whose susceptibility to catching fire has damaged the image of the Korean powerhouse.
Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the United States, including 26 reports of burns and 55 cases of property damage.
Brightest bet went wrong
The Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was the latest iteration of Samsung's Note series that feature a giant screen and a stylus. The Note series smartphones are one of the most expensive lineups released by Samsung and usually inherit designs and features of the Galaxy S series that debut in the spring. Samsung also added an iris scanner to the Note 7, which lets users unlock the phone by detecting patterns in the eyes.
Samsung launched the Note 7 on August 19 in some markets, including South Korea and the US.
Probe results to be out soon
Samsung Electronics and battery supplier Samsung SDI are expected to announce the results of their probe into the cause of fires in some Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sometime in last December this year.
The executive, Kim Hong-gyeong, said "weakness" in some batteries for Note 7 had been confirmed finally, adding that the exact cause of the Note 7 issue is being analysed and probed in detail.
Samsung SDI supplied about 60 percent of the batteries for the Note 7. After the Note 7 fires, SDI checked the safety of other products with major customers, but has found no defects, he said.