The tragic tale of the Galaxy Note 7 just got way more depressing – sorry, Samsung.
Analysts believe that prior to the recall, the Galaxy Note 7 was a hit with consumers. New figures from BayStreet Research, first revealed by Fierce Wireless, suggest that Galaxy Note 7 sales were up 25% over last year’s Galaxy Note 5, and that it was “off to an excellent start”.
Cliff Maldonado, an analyst at the firm, said: “This is very unfortunate for Samsung as the Note 7 was in a position to perform as well as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge had in the first half of the year.”
He continued: “We have now lowered our Note 7 forecast to [approximately] 60% of the Note 5 and are closely tracking how long consumer’s memories are regarding this unfortunate incident. Best case, this is similar to an automobile recall and quickly forgotten with the new/replacement item viewed as safer than before. Worst cast, this is remembered like the quality of Siri or Apple Maps, and very difficult for consumers to forget."
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 7 in early August, with the phone meeting superb critical reception. But on September 2, Samsung issued a global recall for the Note 7 after an internal investigation revealed that a battery fault was causing some handsets to spontaneously catch fire. Sales of the phone were immediately halted, wiping millions of dollars of Samsung’s stock market value and putting an end to the Note 7’s strong start.
Widespread reports of melting Galaxy Note 7 handsets have plagued the phone's launch
According to Bloomberg, the space for the battery cell – which was supplied by Samsung’s SDI battery division – was too small, which put pressure on the cell. This caused the positive and negative poles to connect, and create excess heat, leading to some phones melting. Following the Note 7 launch, a number of users reported issues, with some even claiming to have been injured by the fiery phone.
BayStreet Research’s latest report says that Samsung’s total US smartphone sales are down 6% (to 7.2 million units) for the third quarter, year-on-year. The report adds: “Smartphone recalls are rare and we have never seen one in our 15 years of market coverage. While we believe potential Note 7 buyers will be mostly channeled into a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, the prime beneficiaries outside of Samsung will likely be the iPhone 7 Plus and, to a lesser extent, the LG V20.”
Samsung is set to resume Galaxy Note 7 sales in the UK on September 28.
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Watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
What do you think of the Galaxy Note 7 fire fiasco? Let us know in the comments.