Samsung stops Galaxy Note 7 sales after battery explosions

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Samsung Electronics is recalling millions of its new high end Galaxy smartphones.

Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 7 just two weeks ago. But already, dozens of consumers have reported their smartphones catching fire, prompting the company to recall two and a half million devices.

At a press conference in South Korea, the president of Samsung’s mobile business said the recall will cost so much it makes his heart ache, but that safety comes first. He said the company has identified a glitch in a battery cell, which has caused at least 35 phones to explode or catch fire while charging.

“There have been other phones that have caught on fire. But to have a real flagship phone, and that’s what this is for Samsung, to have the entire run of the phone, millions of phones recalled right after they’ve been released. I can’t think of anything that has been as big as this,” said CNET Section Editor Dan Ackerman.

The recall comes at a crucial moment in the smartphone race. The supersized note seven was scoring strong reviews and better than expected sales. Samsung was counting on its success to help challenge apple, which is expected to announce its newest iPhone next week.

“This is the worst possible timing for Samsung. They finally have a hit on their hands and it looked like they were finally going to outmatch apple. This was finally Samsung year, and look what happened,” said Ackerman.

Samsung says its replacement phones will be available in about two weeks.

No injuries have been reported so far from the scorched smartphones.

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