Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will likely stop selling its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones permanently following the latest halt of sales and production, South Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper reported on Tuesday citing unnamed sources.
The paper said Samsung would likely seek to make up for lost Note 7 sales through its Galaxy S7 models as well as the Note 5, which was the 2015 predecessor for the Note 7.
Samsung did not immediately comment on the report.
Meanwhile, Samsung halted sales of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on Tuesday and told owners to stop using them while it investigates reports of fires, fuelling expectations the tech giant will scrap the flagship device.
Top U.S. and Australian carriers on Monday suspended sales or exchanges of the Note 7s, while aviation authorities banned passengers using the phones, after smoke from a replacement device forced the evacuation of a passenger plane in the United States last week.
The world’s top smartphone maker said it had asked all global carriers to stop sales of the Note 7s and the exchange of original devices for replacements, while it worked with regulators to investigate the problem.
“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device,” the company said in statement.
Samsung’s decision to pull Note 7s off the shelves for the second time in less than two months not only raises fresh doubts about the firm’s quality control but could result in huge financial and reputational costs.
Investors wiped 14.7 trillion won ($13.2 billion) off Samsung Electronics’ market value at mid-day trade on Tuesday as shares tumbled 7 percent to touch their 2-week low.
The premium device launched in August was supposed to compete with Apple Inc’s latest iPhone for supremacy in the smartphone market. Well received by critics, its first problem was a shortage as pre-orders overwhelmed supply.
But within days of the launch images of charred Note 7s began appearing on social media, in the first sign that something was seriously amiss with the gadget. Samsung has since recalled 2.5 million Note 7s due to faulty batteries.
“This has probably killed the Note 7 brand name – who knows if they’ll even be allowed to re-release it,” said Edward Snyder, managing director of Charter Equity Research.
“By the time they fix the problem they have to go through recertification and requalification and by the time that happens they’re going up against the (Galaxy) S8 launch.”