Samsung has recalled the Galaxy Note 7 as a result of battery issues.
Samsung is suspending sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after finding batteries of some of the gadgets exploded while they were charging.
The South Korean electronics giant said that it has discovered a battery cell issue in the Note 7, released two weeks ago in the U.S. and South Korea, and will replace consumers’ recently-purchased products with another one.
So far, the company has sold 2.5 million Note 7 smartphones since the product’s launch. Customers who have already bought Note 7s will be able to swap them for new smartphones.
“For customers who already have Galaxy Note7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks,” the company said in a statement Friday.
U.S. wireless carriers stopped selling the Note 7 Friday and began working on how to handle customer returns and questions. AT&T said it is determining its exchange process and planned to have more information Friday. Sprint customers who bought a Note 7 can get a “similar device” to use until Samsung resolves the battery issue and makes replacements available.
T-Mobile is letting Note 7 buyers get a full refund or use what they paid to get a similar device or wait or a new Note 7, which the carrier said it expects to be available within the next two weeks. Those who preordered the device and decide to return it will still be able to keep the full year Netflix subscription the company offered as a promotion.
Verizon is also letting customers return their Note 7 and exchange it for another device through September 30th.
Samsung said it wouldannounce the details of an exchange program “as soon as today.”
“We acknowledge the inconvenience this may cause in the market but this is to ensure that Samsung continues to deliver the highest quality products to our customers. We are working closely with our partners to ensure the replacement experience is as convenient and efficient as possible.”
So far, Samsung has found 35 cases of phone mishaps due to the battery issue. “We are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” the company said. “However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note7.”
At this point, the number of bad batteries remains small, but the potential impact on Samsung’s brand remains to be seen. “It’s a small percentage of the whole, but on the other hand, it’s really bad publicity when this is your flagship product and it is literally going up in flames,” said Tuong Nguyen, principal analyst with research firm Gartner. “I would expect at least a slight loss in consumer confidence.”