Samsung Halts Production of Note 7 After Replacement Phones Explode [Updated]

Samsung has halted production of its beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after several replacement handsets reportedly caught fire and ended up with at least one person in a hospital.

On Monday, an official at a supplier for Samsung informed Korean Yonhap news agency of the decision, which is said to have been made in coordination with consumer safety regulators from South Korea, the United States, and China.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

(Image: Shawn Minter)

The news is another hammer blow to Samsung's mobile division and its 2016 flagship device, as the company reels from a second round of exploding phone incidents indicating that the replacement handset program at the center of its global recall efforts has failed.

The decision came after all mobile carriers in the U.S. said they would stop issuing Note 7 devices following at least five reports of replacement handsets catching fire over the last five days.

On Wednesday, a flight from Louisville to Baltimore was evacuated while still at the gate because of a smoking Note 7. Saturday saw a Minnesota case involving a 13-year-old girl who said she felt a "weird, burning sensation" while holding her phone and suffered a minor burn to her thumb. "It felt like pins and needles except a lot more intense," she said.

Later the same day, a Kentucky man reported "vomiting black" after his Note 7 caught fire while he was asleep in bed, filling his room with smoke. "It wasn't plugged in. It wasn't anything, it was just sitting there," said the man, who later took himself to ER and was diagnosed with acute bronchitis.

Then on Sunday, another Note 7 bedside incident took place in Virginia. The phone "just burst into flames while on the night stand," said its owner. "I woke up in complete panic." By midday another device had caught fire on a table where a Texas family sat eating lunch together.

All the handsets in the incidents were replacements issued by Samsung, which the company had previously claimed were using batteries that are "not vulnerable to overheating and catching fire." Samsung has yet to explain what's going on with the replacement devices.

Rumors have suggested Samsung's Note 7 problems began after the company rushed the device into production after realizing the iPhone 7 would not feature major design changes, seeing it as an opportunity to one up Apple. Suppliers were pushed to meet tighter deadlines for an earlier launch, leading to critical oversights.

The supplier official who revealed the manufacturing halt this morning described the production as "temporarily suspended", however it is difficult to imagine in what circumstances Samsung would resume production of the Galaxy Note 7, which many observers will now consider a toxic brand.

Early speculation that iPhone 7 could experience an uptick in sales because of Samsung's woes seem increasingly likely. Samsung accounted for 27.8 percent of all smartphones shipped in Q1 2016, almost double Apple's 14.4 percent share, but a big part of Samsung's jump ahead was the early release of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, while the much-anticipated Note 7 was Samsung's attempt to cater for the increasing popularity of larger-screen devices.

Update 1: Similar incidents of exploding replacement Note 7 phones have also been reported in Taiwan and South Korea.

Update 2: Samsung has said it is "temporarily adjusting the Galaxy Note 7 production schedule in order to take further steps to ensure quality and safety matters". The company said it hoped to provide an update within a month.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago
Deleted.
Score: 112 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
There are some Note 7 owners who still want the phone despite the explosive issues, and somehow Apple users are the ones being called sheep :rolleyes:
Score: 104 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

I'd take one for free.

You couldn't pay me enough to use one.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
There are stilly plenty of uses for the Note 7 ....

Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Samsung phones are da bomb!
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
And to think all the "-gate" jokes started due to minor issues with Apple phones...

...Imagine making a device that routinely explodes, then replacing it and insisting it won't happen anymore and then it does again.

Apple Maps seems like fun in comparison.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...