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Samsung recalls Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries

01 September 2016

Samsung Electronics is recalling its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after reports of battery problems causing a number of the phones to explode and catch fire in the US and South Korea. The South Korean company said customers who had already bought the phone would be able to swap it for a new one.

Samsung said it had been difficult to work out which phones were affected among the 2.5 million Note 7s so far sold in 10 countries because different companies had supplied the lithium-ion batteries. Only 35 cases have been reported worldwide, so Samsung said the recall decision had been a hard one to make.

"There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process, so it was very difficult to figure out,'' the president of Samsung's mobile business Koh Dong-jin told reporters. "It will cost us so much it makes my heart ache. Nevertheless, the reason we made this decision is because what is most important is customer safety."

The company said it would take about two weeks to prepare replacement devices.

The smartphone was only launched on 19 August and has been generally well-received by critics and consumers. The Galaxy Note 7 model is the latest of Samsung's series of so called phablets - smartphones with very large screens.

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