If you own a new Galaxy Note7, back up your photos and make sure your contacts are in the cloud. After a couple of high profile battery fires reported around the internet, sources have told Gizmodo that smartphone giant Samsung may take the almost unprecedented step of recalling every single Note7 back from customers — both in Australia and around the world.
This post was originally published at 7:30PM on September 1.
Update, 2:45PM 2/8: While there is no official update from Samsung on the rumoured recall, it has been confirmed that at least three local retailers have pulled the phone from sale today.
Update, 3:25PM 2/8: Samsung’s official online store has also temporarily suspended sale of the phone.
After several reports of accidental fires, Samsung has already halted further shipments of the device internationally. A national recall in South Korea has also been reported by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, and re-reported by ZDNet. That recall may now be extended worldwide.
Gizmodo has been told by a source with knowledge of the situation that an announcement will be made on Friday morning Australian time, if the recall proceeds. That’s when we’ll have confirmation if all Note7 models around the world are in fact affected. According to our source, it is understood a recall of Note7s may be coordinated by Samsung locally through its Australian retail and telco partners.
A Samsung Australia spokesperson could not comment on the recall announcement, but confirmed that further Note7 deliveries were being postponed in Australia until further notice, telling Gizmodo that “shipments of Galaxy Note 7 are being temporarily delayed for additional quality assurance inspections.” In response to Gizmodo’s request for comment, Optus and Vodafone representatives referred the issue to Samsung, while Telstra did not have any comment by the time of publication.
Samsung’s share value has been rocky since the company announced shipping delays for new units, with more internal quality testing already underway. At the time of publishing, Bloomberg reports Samsung SDI shares have fallen 6 per cent on the news.
Precise sales figures for Note7 are not available in Australia, but Gizmodo understands approximately 50,000 units — worth $67.5 million at the phone’s $1349 retail price — have been sold by Australia’s three major carriers. Over 400,000 units from South Korea alone are being recalled according to ZDNet, and the phone also went on sale in the US in line with the Australian launch in mid-August. The Note7 was set to go on sale in the UK tomorrow.
The recall comes on the eve of Apple’s iPhone 7 event, where the US company is expected to announce a new iPhone in at least two sizes including a large competitor for the Note7, and potentially a Pro model with stylus and unique features.
Samsung had another extensive recall of 144,000 washing machines in mid-2013, for six different models sold between 2010 and 2013. Those cheap, entry-level models were especially troublesome for the company to track down, and the recall is still ongoing with only around three quarters of the machines sold in Australia successfully repaired or replaced since 2013.