About half a million U.S. owners of the Galaxy Note 7 have so far exchanged their potentially explosive smartphone, Samsung said Thursday, indicating that the recall is about half way toward completion.
Interestingly, the Korean company added that 90 percent of those who have replaced their phone “have been opting to receive the new Note 7.” In other words, around 50,000 (so far) are done with the Note 7. Of course, the reason for ditching the device may be simply because of an unsatisfactory user experience rather than any fears about it spontaneously combusting. Or perhaps their attention was grabbed by the iPhone 7 Plus, which launched four weeks after the Note 7. Or possibly by another high-end phablet.
Either way, the recall is now clearly well underway, with Samsung desperate to bring the curtain down on this whole sorry mess.
The phone launched to rave reviews in August, with DT’s own analysis praising its “stunning, comfortable design” and “fresh user interface.” But reports of some of the devices blowing up began to emerge within just a few days, the cause put down to faulty batteries that overheated while charging. Accordingly, DT added “may set on fire or explode” to the handset’s list of weak points.
With more than 90 incidents in the U.S. of the Note 7 overheating, “including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last week issued a formal recall notice urging the more than one million owners of the Note 7 to power down their device and return it immediately.
At the start of the week, Samsung said just a quarter of owners had returned the device, but following news on Wednesday that it’d made half a million Note 7 handsets widely available for collection within the U.S., customers appear to be moving at speed to grab the new, safer version of the phone.
But Thursday’s statement does still mean there are plenty of people out there yet to exchange their Note 7. Whether that’s because they’re not particularly bothered about the recall or because they’ve been told supplies are low isn’t clear, but Samsung will be extremely keen for customers to swap their potentially dangerous device just as soon as they can.