Samsung Stops Selling Galaxy Note 7 Over Battery Explosions

A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. KIM HONG-JI / Reuters
A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. KIM HONG-JI / Reuters (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

NBC News – SEOUL (NBC News) - Samsung will stop selling its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones amid reports some of their batteries exploded while being charged.

In a statement released Friday, the tech giant said it would prepare replacement devices for those already sold. It was not immediately clear when new sales of the devices would begin.

Samsung Electronics launched the Note 7 on Aug. 19 in markets including the U.S.

South Korean high school teacher Park Soo-Jung told The Associated Press she rushed to buy the Galaxy Note 7, pre-ordering and then activating it on Aug. 19.

The 34-year-old recounted by email that her phone later burst into flames, filling her bedroom with smoke smelling of chemicals.

An employee of a Samsung service center in Busan who visited Park's school to retrieve the scorched phone confirmed that her Galaxy Note 7 caught fire and said the sample was sent to the company's headquarters.

"If the exploded phone in flame was near my head, I would not have been able to write this post," she said in a popular online forum on Thursday, where she shared a photo of the scorched Note 7 and described dousing the burning phone with water.

It is unusual for Samsung to confirm a delay in sales of a device, and rare for it to cite a quality issue.

"Every year, there have been accidents of battery explosions but it is the first time that six or seven cases happened within such a short period after the launch of a new product," said Ha Joon-doo, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

The Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is the latest iteration of Samsung's Note series. It features a giant screen and a stylus.