It’s been estimated that Samsung’s recall of the Galaxy Note 7 could cost the company around $1 billion, but as yet another report comes in of an exploding device - this time involving a six-year-old boy - the ultimate cost may be even higher.
Last week, a charging Note 7 caught fire and caused $1380 worth of damages to a Sydney hotel. The owner was sleeping next to the phone when it exploded, so he was lucky to escape without any injuries. The same can’t be said for one Brooklyn resident, whose device “suddenly burst into flames” as he watched videos on it.
The fire caused by the phone was intense enough to set off the alarms in the family’s home. The burns he suffered meant he had to be rushed to Downstate Medical Center. “He is home now,” the victim’s grandmother, Linda Lewis, told the New York Post. “He doesn’t want to see or go near any phones. He’s been crying to his mother.”
Lewis said she has been in touch with Samsung but didn’t comment further.
Despite Samsung’s claims that only a tiny fraction of Note 7 batteries are at risk of overheating, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has advised plane passengers not to charge or turn on the devices while on board aircraft and not stow them in any checked baggage. Airlines in India, Australia, and the UAE have also placed restrictions on the use of Note 7s during flights.
The recall of Samsung’s flagship phone has caused shares in the company to drop to a two-month low, wiping $14.3 billion off the South Korean firm’s market value. “Some said initially the Galaxy Note 7 could be the best smartphone ever, but now it’s possible the phone will go down as the worst ever,” said IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung-woo.
There had been some reports that, in a bid to avoid any more incidents like the one in New York, Samsung was planning to remotely deactivate all defective Note 7s by Septemeber 30. However, the company has since refuted this, though in a statement to Android Central (below) doesn’t seem to rule it out as a future possibility.
The firm’s official line is that this isn’t happening. We’ve reached out to Samsung and been told that this is not something the company has stated, and that all official guidance will be published on its website.