Samsung has halted manufacturing and sales of the Galaxy Note 7 and is advising those who have a handset, replacement or otherwise, to return it to their retailer for a refund / replacement with an alternate device. The news comes as a response to reports of replacement Note 7 handsets catching fire.
A story in The Guardian reports South Korean officials as identifying a new fault in the handset, unrelated to the battery. Without prejudging the issue one has to assume that if its not the battery it must be related to the charging circuits – perhaps the fast charging capability that Samsung and many other handset manufacturers have been implementing recently.
For Samsung this is a significant blow to their smartphone business. One, in of itself it speaks of a worrying inability to diagnose the problem properly and a rush to get replacement handset; and two it comes at a time when Google has thrown down a marker for ownership of the Android premium market. On top of what would otherwise be a humdrum iPhone update it appears that Samsung has managed to spectacularly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Short term this is a disaster for Samsung. Long term it may be even worse.