samsung galaxy note 7 south korea

Samsung is expecting billions of dollars in loss in the aftermath of the Galaxy Note 7’s death. Pic: AP

Turn off your Galaxy Note 7 phones immediately, says Samsung as crisis deepens

SAMSUNG has issued a warning to all Galaxy Note 7 users to switch off and stop using the devices immediately, and have halted all sales of the phones globally while it attempts to carry out damage control over the problematic devices.

In a corporate statement, the South Korean electronics giant said: “Because consumers’ safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place.”

Samsung will be carrying out investigations into reports from consumers whose replacement devices have burst into flames. In the meantime, Samsung says anyone with either the original phone or the replacement one should power it down and stop using it.

SEE ALSO: Samsung stops all Galaxy Note 7 production as S. Korea govt watches closely

The announcement marks more disaster for Samsung, and points towards the likely discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung is also fielding questions about its quality control and is being monitored closely by a South Korean government regulator.

Reuters reports KRW14.7 trillion (US$13.2 billion) was wiped off Samsung’s market value at noon on Tuesday. As Samsung’s stock took a dive, rival electronics giant Apple saw its own stock go up by 2.3 percent, the highest it’s been since December 2015.

Samsung’s firey woes are a major bruise to the company’s ego. The Galaxy Note 7 was launched in August as competition to Apple’s iPhone 7, and was extremely well-received until they started exploding in people’s homes. Then airlines started banning consumers from even turning the phones on while on an airplane.

A total of 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices have been recalled since the first incident, with Samsung promising replacements within weeks. But it hasn’t paid off, as the replacements are still having battery problems.

The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, a government regulator, said on Tuesday they met with Samsung and have “confirmed the possibility of defects in the new (Galaxy Note 7) product”, reports Reuters.

SEE ALSO: Smartphone war: Samsung’s struggles give Apple edge in China

An official was quoted saying: “It is more difficult to analyze the cause of the accidents this time because of various patterns of the accidents.”

The chairman of U.S. watchdog, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said Samsung was making “the right move”, adding that phones should not be cause for concern. U.S. federal regulators say consumers are entitled to a full refund of the Galaxy Note 7.