Samsung has issued a global recall of its new Galaxy Note 7 phone, affecting millions of devices, after a fault with the phone’s battery caused it to explode.
The device, which was due to go on sale in the UK today, has already sold over 1 million devices, but several users had posted images and videos of charred phones online.
The news is a significant blow to Samsung. As well as an expensive recall it will stop the momentum the company had won from positive reviews of the Note, while Apple is due to unveil its next iPhone.
“There have been 35 cases that have been reported globally and we are currently conducting a thorough inspection with our suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market,” Samsung said.
“However, because our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung, we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.”
The worldwide recall, which comes the day after Samsung said it had delayed future shipments of the Note 7, affects around 2.5 million phones that had been distributed, including around 1 million sold. Only a handful have been affected, but Samsung said it had to replace the entire line.
Korean news agency Yonhap quotes a source saying that less than 0.1 per cent of phones are affected, and that a new battery would fix the problem, but “we’ll come up with convincing measures for our consumers”.
Phone retailers in the UK such as Carphone Warehouse halted sales of the device on Thursday.
Thursday’s delay had wiped billions off Samsung’s share price. Friday’s recall was announced after markets closed in Korea.