More than 60% of recalled Note 7 units have been exchanged in U.S. and Korea, Samsung says

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (Samsung)
Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Source: Samsung

More than 60 percent of Samsung’s recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices sold in the U.S. and South Korea have been exchanged through the replacement program, the company said. And roughly 90 percent of Galaxy Note 7 users have chosen a replacement model “since products became widely available.”

The South Korean manufacturer issued an initial recall of the high-end phone more than three weeks ago following dozens of reports of batteries overheating, catching fire or exploding. That move was followed two weeks later by the official announcement of a recall of 1 million of the devices by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Samsung has seen its market cap shrink by billions during the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, and analysts have estimated the company could lose $5 billion in revenue after accounting for the cost of recalling the 2.5 million units that must be replaced. But it appears the company is finally making progress with the recall program – and many users may not be shying away from replacing recalled phones with newer models.

“Last week, that (recall) program began for the majority of markets and the progress is encouraging,” said DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business, in a prepared statement. “Our focus now is to make sure that all affected devices are replaced as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The recall came at a particularly bad time for Samsung, which remains the top smartphone vendor in the world. The release of the Galaxy Note 7 follows the spring launch of the Galaxy S7 Edge, which was the top-selling Android phone in the world during the first half of 2016. And one report indicates sales of the new phone were up 25 percent over last year’s model.

Indeed, the Galaxy Note 7 was positioned to compete at the top end of the smartphone market against the iPhone 7, which Apple launched earlier this month to generally positive reviews. Sales of the new iPhone have surely benefited from problems related to the Galaxy Note 7, and Samsung has been criticized for being slow to react to initial reports of overheating batteries.

Samsung has much work to do to replace devices in the field and regain the trust of some customers. But today’s announcement indicates that the Korean firm may be finally regaining its footing in time for the holiday season.

For more:
- see Samsung’s announcement

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