The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall begins today for UK users and will start on Wednesday, September 21 for US owners. The exchange program has already begun for Australian and South Korean users. So far there have been 92 reports of overheating batteries in the devices, resulting in 26 burns and 55 cases of property damage, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall notice revealed.
Bizarrely, despite an official recall from Samsung and the US Government, Galaxy Note 7 owners have largely continued to use their devices. Apteligent.com figures indicate that usage rates up until September 14 remained almost as high as rates prior to the Samsung recall on September 2.
Florida man suing Samsung for exploding Galaxy Note 7
The consequences of using a Galaxy Note 7 purchased before September 15 could be very serious indeed. Florida man Jonathan Strobel is suing Samsung for “medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering” after a Note 7 in his front pocket burned a hole through his pants. Strobel received severe burns on his leg and left thumb, the latter occurring as he tried to remove the phone from his pocket. The incident occurred on September 9, seven days after the Samsung recall notice.
The CPSC is advising buyers to return to the carrier or outlet where they purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. They are entitled to either a free replacement Galaxy Note 7, free replacement battery or a refund. The recall affects 2.5 million devices. The Note 7 is Samsung’s flagship smartphone and broke pre-order records upon release last month.
Air travel with active Samsung Galaxy Note 7 banned in US
When it comes to air travel, it seems Galaxy Note 7 users have their hands tied, at least if they want to stay on the right side of US law. On Friday the Federal Aviation Administration announced that Galaxy Note 7 users must turn off their devices while onboard a plane. Furthermore, placing the devices in checked luggage is banned. The new rules are based on hazardous material regulations that prevent the air cargo shipment of recalled lithium battery-powered devices.
Samsung stock prices plummet, Apple iPhone 7 launch hype continues
The global recall is estimated to cost Samsung in excess of $1 billion. To help absorb the cost, the South Korean multinational began offloading shares in four tech companies, including hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology. On September 12 the tech giant saw the biggest fall in stock price in its 28-year history as a public company.
The controversy couldn’t have come at a worse time for Samsung. The hype machine is in full swing this month for the Apple iPhone 7 launch. Some commentators canned the removal of the headphone jack while others criticised the wireless Airpods as too easy to lose. Nonetheless Apple’s forward-thinking moves have won praise from many quarters (including SoundReview). The iPhone 7 also has the significant advantage of having a battery that doesn’t explode and severely burn your thumb.
If you’re still adjusting to the move away from the headphone jack, check out our recent summary on the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones on the market today.