Samsung Faces Lawsuits and Sales Problems for the Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, is grappling with the recall of its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, just weeks after the phone hit the market to great acclaim.

The lithium-ion batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 phones have been catching fire, both while charging and when in use, resulting in ruined phones, other property damage, and injuries, Investopedia reports.

An Ohio resident has filed a product liability lawsuit against the company after another of the company’s phones, a Galaxy S7 Edge, exploded in his pocket in May while he was working at a construction site. The lawsuit said the 23-year-old man suffered second- and third-degree burns on his thigh, groin, and lower back after the phone exploded in his back pocket. The man heard “whistling, screeching, and vibrating, as well as smoke coming from his pocket.” A Florida family claimed an exploding Galaxy Note 7 caused a fire in the family’s Jeep, and a South Carolina man believes his Galaxy Note 7 was to blame for a garage fire that seriously damaged in his house. In Brooklyn, New York, a six-year-old boy was injured when the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 he was holding caught fire in his hands as he watched a video.

The South Korean electronics and appliance giant recalled the Galaxy Note 7 phone last week, after the company recorded 35 instances of fires in the Galaxy Note 7. Government agencies have advised consumers to be cautious with the Galaxy Note 7. The Federal Aviation Administration advised passengers to turn off the phones when boarding flights and not attempt to charge them on the plane or pack the phone in checked luggage. The Consumer Safety Product Commission has advised consumers to “stop charging or using [the Galaxy Note 7]” altogether. The CPSC said it is working to determine whether a replacement Galaxy Note 7 is a safe replacement for Samsung or phone carriers to provide to consumers, according to a news release.

Samsung had been gaining market share in the smartphone market and had nearly 10 percent more market share at the end of the second quarter, compared to Apple, which just announced a new iPhone model. Early sales of the Galaxy Note 7 had been strong, but the recall may “cast a pall over” future sales, according to Investopedia.

 

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