Users urged to stop using the smartphones and switch them off
Samsung has permanently stopped production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, just weeks after its launch, following 35 cases of exploding batteries.
Buyers of the phone have been posting videos and photos showing the device with melted screens and battery packs, reporting that it just caught fire while charging.
More than a million Note 7 phones have been sold in less than a month across 10 countries.
Samsung said the fires were caused by faulty batteries made by one of its two battery suppliers. The company refused to name the supplier but said it had identified the faulty battery cell.
The president of the firm’s mobile business, Koh Dong-jin, said: “We have received several reports of battery explosion on the Note 7 that was officially launched on 19 August, and it has been confirmed that it was a battery cell problem.
Customers who have bought the Note 7 are being offered replacement smartphones. The South Korean company said in a statement it would take about two weeks to prepare replacement devices.
“Everyone rocking the new Note 7, it might catch fire.”
A statement from Samsung UK said: “We are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market.
An official told the Yonhap News Agency that a “problematic battery” had been installed in “less than 0.1 per cent of the entire volume sold”.
YouTube user Ariel Gonzalez, who posted a video of the problem, said: “Came home from work, put it on to charge for a little bit before I had class. Went to put it on my waist and it caught fire. Yup. Brand new phone, not even two weeks old. Be careful out there, everyone rocking the new Note 7, it might catch fire.”
Following the news, three Australian airlines banned use of Galaxy Note 7 phones on its planes.
Samsung is now urging anyone with a Galaxy Note 7 to stop using it and switch it off.