Samsung is throwing in the towel.
Nearly two months after introducing its Note 7 phablet, the electronics giant said it is ending production of the embattled device in a filing with South Korean regulators, reported the Wall Street Journal today. “Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7,” the company stated, marking the end of a saga that involved injuries, property damage and even a scare in an airliner.
The trouble began after reports of exploding Note 7s began to surface, dominating headlines across both technology and mainstream news outlets. By Sept. 2, Samsung said it had been 35 cases of exploding batteries.
Days later, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially warned travelers about flying with the device and Samsung rolled out an exchange program after consulting with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, swapping out potentially defective Note 7s with a defect-free model. To help buyers identify the new models, Samsung added a square symbol to a label on the product’s packaging and introduced a new green battery icon on the phone’s status bar, always-on display screen and the prompt screen that appears when users power down their device.
On Sept. 15, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a formal recall (number 16-266), affecting an estimated 1 million units sold before that date.
“Samsung has received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage,” stated the agency.
Rather than put an end to entire ordeal, replacement Note 7s continued to exhibit problems.
Last week, a Southwest Airlines plane was evacuated after smoke began to pour out of a replacement Samsung Note 7 before takeoff. A Kentucky man reportedly suffered injuries after his replacement handset filled his bedroom with smoke.
Yesterday, Samsung announced it had completely halted sales of the device.
“We are working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7,” said the company in an Oct. 10 advisory. “Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.”
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.