Samsung has halted sales of its Galaxy Note7 smartphone and is replacing already purchased units due to safety concerns.
Responding to reports of some Note7 smartphones exploding while being charged, Samsung has officially confirmed 35 cases involving “a battery cell issue.” That would represent a small percentage of the 2.5 million units already sold, but Samsung is replacing them all anyway.
In a statement, the company asserted, “we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” adding, “our customers’ safety is an absolute priority”.
The development comes as a severe blow to the company; as TechCrunch notes, its chief rival, Apple, is expected to launch its newest flagship smartphone next week. While the new iPhone is not expected to sport the eye-popping iris scanning feature that helped the Note7 to stand out in the market, it will almost certainly gain some advantage from Samsung’s setback. Looking to the long term, though, the Note7 has already established Samsung as a pioneer with respect to mobile iris biometrics, and some analysts predict that next year’s iPhone will follow suit in incorporating such a system.