Amid continued reports of their new flagship smartphone catching on fire, Samsung Electronics is killing its troubled Galaxy Note 7 phablet in what is without a doubt a humbling about-face for the South Korean giant and its global brand.
“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 “death” of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest producer of smartphones. The high-end phablet – with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours, and comparatively high price – won praise from both consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet in attempting to take on Apple for the high-end market.
The news was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal, and a spokeswoman for Samsung confirmed it is ending production of the device, saying: “We can confirm the report that Samsung has permanently discontinued the production of Galaxy Note 7.”
The South Korean company didn’t provide any further details or statements explaining their decision but in a filing about ending production with South Korean regulators it cites “customer safety” as the main reason.
Samsung is certainly not out of the mobile phone business despite this disaster, but recovering from such a blow will be slow-going. The company’s shares tumbled 8 percent today, its biggest one-day decline in nearly a decade, with analysts estimating that the recall operation could end up costing as much as $17 billion.