- Samsung stopped sales and issued a voluntary global recall of its brand new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone on Friday after reports of devices that exploded or caught fire.
- The company said there had been 35 cases globally as of September 1. Samsung said it narrowed the problem to a "battery cell issue" in the device’s lithium battery.
- Samsung also drew criticism for not involving official channels in the recall. According to Consumer Reports, Samsung should have gone through a formal recall through U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
For Samsung, this is a major headache for a product that was highly-anticipated and positioned to serve as a direct competitor to the iPhone. Inconsistencies in the quality of the lithium battery led to the broad recall and could future the phone's sales.
A company statement said that Samsung is "currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market."
Samsung said it would replace the approximately one million smartphones already in consumers’ hands in 10 countries in the coming weeks. A total of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7's have been produced, according to the company, although not all of them use the affected battery. For example, phones sold in China used a different battery that apparently has not experienced similar issues.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 initially received positive reviews and contains a number of features focused on the enterprise market. The company is in part marketing the phone as a business-class smartphone and phablet, which comes with a stylus called the "S Pen" and enhanced security measures like an iris scanner. Samsung is the still the leader in the worldwide smartphone market, accounting for 22% of the market share in Q2 2016, compared to Apple's almost 12%, according to IDC.
Meanwhile, Apple is scheduled to announce its new iPhone this week.