Beleaguered tech giant Samsung has announced it is ceasing any further production of the Galaxy Note 7 after failing to fix major problems which have led to batteries catching fire.
The South Korea-headquartered firm has confirmed it will no longer be making what was set to be its new flagship smartphone, after dozens of reports worldwide of fires and explosions involving the device.
Filing its determination to regulators, it said the decision had been taken in the interests of consumer safety.
The announcement comes just a day after Samsung said it was “adjusting production” of the Galaxy Note 7.
In a statement, Samsung said: “Putting consumer safety as the top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s.” It later confirmed that stopping production was permanent.
Customers who have already bought Note 7s will now be able to apply for a full refund or to swap their new devices for other products from the Samsung range.
Everyone who still has either an original or a replacement Galaxy Note 7 has been told to turn it off and stop using it immediately.
Samsung’s latest move comes after analysts told it to ditch the Note 7 as a lost cause and to concentrate on protecting its reputation.
Greg Roh, from HMC Investment Securities, said: “The reason consumers prefer brands like Samsung and Apple is because of product reliability, so in this case, brand damage is inevitable and it will be costly for Samsung to turn that around again.”
Edward Snyder, managing director of Charter Equity Research said there was little point in attempting to fix major problems with the Note 7 as by the time Samsung goes through any recertification processes, it will be looking at launching the Galaxy S8.
It is expected that Samsung will now face an uphill struggle to stop previously loyal customers from switching to rival manufacturers. Google, for example, released its own Pixel XL smartphone this month in direct competition to the Note 7. It is yet to be seen whether Apple will benefit or whether consumers used to an Android system would prefer to move to another Android device.
When it was first released, the Note 7 picked up rave reviews with technology critics praising its stylish curved screen, its high-quality cameras, fast charging and its waterproofing.
But, by August, reports had started to emerge of consumers whose fully-charged Note 7 devices had started smouldering, caught fire or, in extreme cases, exploded.