Samsung to halt sales of Galaxy Note 7

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Samsung has urged owners of the Galaxy Note 7 to turn off the smartphone while it investigates reports of replaced devices catching fire.

The South Korean firm also said it would stop all sales of the phone.

It said consumers’ safety was its top priority and that it was working to resolve the situation.

Samsung recalled 2.5m phones in September after complaints of exploding batteries, but later assured customers that the fixed devices were safe.

But since then, a man in Kentucky said he woke up to a bedroom full of smoke from a replaced Note 7, days after a domestic flight in the US was evacuated after a new device started emitting smoke in the cabin.

“Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place,” the company said.

“We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation.”

“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available,” it added.

Some US and UK phone companies had already stopped selling the phone, which was meant to be the company’s answer to Apple’s iPhone 7.

The Note 7 went on sale in the UK days before Samsung issued a recall, and sales have so far been limited.

The company said 45,000 Note 7s had been sold across Europe through pre-ordering, mostly in the UK. More than 75% of those have been replaced with either a Note 7 or another Samsung handset.

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Analysis: Dave Lee, BBC North American technology reporter, San Francisco

What a disaster.

Samsung was dragging its heels in the face of new reports that its Note 7 phones were still burning up. Perhaps even Samsung itself could not quite believe that one of the world leaders in electronics could have made such a catastrophic product safety error… twice.

They say it’s the cover-up that gets you, and it appears that all the proactive work Samsung did to mitigate the Note 7 fiasco has been undone by being slower to acknowledge that the devices are still dangerous.

This story is no longer just about the Note 7. It’s about the trust consumers have in Samsung’s wide range of products – trust that seems to be, excuse me, going up in smoke.

Follow Dave Lee on Twitter @DaveLeeBBC

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