Electronic giant Samsung has scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone less than two months after its launch, dealing a huge blow to its reputation and outlook after failing to resolve safety concerns. Sonia Legg reports.
It was supposed to be their flagship smartphone - the model to compete with Apple's iphone. But just a day after halting production of the Galaxy Note 7 the South Korean firm has scrapped it altogether. It was only launched two months ago, but in early September came reports of phones catching fire. Samsung could now be facing one of the costliest product safety failures in tech history. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PANMURE GORDON CHIEF ECONOMIST, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "A lot will be made of the fact that this is a single element within the Samsung eco-system and try and put the focus on their next era of Notes or tablets and smartphones and try and move on from what has been a difficult period for them." But moving on won't be easy. Samsung's decision to pull Note 7 off the shelves raises doubts about the firm's quality control. Some estimates say it could cost them $17 billion - and tarnish its other products in the minds of consumers. This customer in Paris one of many perhaps looking elsewhere for their next smartphone. (SOUNDBITE) (French) PARISIAN SAMSUNG CUSTOMER, LAURENT, SAYING: "It's happened regularly with the motherboard for example. I changed it three times on different models. So they have to re-think this. Otherwise the products are good. It's a bit annoying after two years if for a model which costs over 700 euros, I'm forced to send it back for repair." Samsung's still not saying if it's identified the cause of the fires in the replacement devices. Officials in Seoul simply saying they are looking at several possibilities, including the batteries.