SEOUL, South Korea (NYT) — Samsung Electronics is terminating production of its troubled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, according to a person familiar with the decision, in a major and embarrassing about-face for the South Korean electronics giant.
In a statement filed with the country’s stock exchange late Tuesday, Samsung said it had made a “final decision” to stop production. That means the company will no longer produce or market the smartphone, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Samsung did not publicly disclose further information about the decision.
Samsung has struggled with reports that the Note 7 could overheat and catch fire because of a manufacturing flaw. Last month, the company said it would recall 2.5 million of the phones, but in recent days, reports that the fixed version could also catch fire began to surface as well.
Earlier Tuesday, the company announced that it would stop selling its Note 7 smartphones around the world, essentially pulling the model from the market as it sought to determine what has caused the fires in some of its phones. It said it asked all telecommunication carriers and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the device. Hours earlier, it said it had temporarily halted production of the Note 7 to fix the problem.
Samsung also earlier asked all consumers who own the original Note 7 devices or replacement models to power them down and stop using them as it worked with regulators to solve the problem.
In South Korea, the company also apologized to consumers and business partners, while mobile carriers offered refunds to owners of the Note 7s or allowed them switch to other Samsung phone models.
The move came on the same day that the recall spread to China. Samsung earlier had said models sold in China contained different batteries than the ones that had caught fire.
That did not go over well with many Chinese consumers. “Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 explodes, and they recall their phones in every other country except for China. They really look down on us,” wrote one user on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.