Samsung is putting a halt to sales and exchanges of its Galaxy Note7 smartphones.
The device initially launched in Korea in August, with a global rollout following soon after. It had generated considerable excitement, in large part thanks to its pioneering iris scanning functionality. While that feature allowed Samsung to make a strong security pitch for the device, it ultimately succumbed to a security failure of another kind entirely, with reports that some devices had burst into flames while being charged.
That led Samsung to proceed with a massive recall effort aiming to replace the 2.5 million devices already sold, and in recent weeks the company had reported progress. Newer replacement devices went on sale at the start of this month.
Unfortunately, reports soon emerged that some of these new devices were also catching fire, in the literal sense. Now, Samsung is asking its carrier and retail partners to stop selling the devices entirely, and advising users to shut their units down, for their own safety. The company evidently is working with partners to facilitate refunds and exchanges.
It’s a sad end for what had been a promising device, but mobile iris scanning is unlikely to die with the Note7. Apple is thought to be working on such a function for its next iPhone, and the buzz that the Note7’s iris scanning has likely inspired other smartphone makers to look into the idea, too. And that’s not even mentioning the other consumer handsets already on the market that feature iris authentication.