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September 20, 2016

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Samsung denies battery problems

SAMSUNG Electronics and its battery supplier yesterday denied any battery problems with the Galaxy Note 7 sold in China, after two Chinese consumers complained their new Samsung models overheated and caught fire.

Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone vendor, has recalled 2.5 million units of its new top-of-the-range model in overseas markets after batteries began catching fire while charging. It insisted that the Galaxy Note 7 models sold in China are safe because the firm has a different battery supplier in the domestic market.

Two Chinese consumers posted images of their broken Galaxy Note 7 models after they caught fire on social media on Sunday. One of the consumers said the model heated up and vibrated, then exploded, emitting black smoke, media reported.

Samsung attributed the fire to “external heating” rather than battery problems after testing the broken models, the company said in a statement.

Amperex Technology Ltd (ATL), the battery supplier for the Note 7 models sold in China, also denied any problems with the battery yesterday.

Last week, Samsung recalled 1,858 Note 7 phones in China from a different batch that had been distributed before general sales began. The South Korean firm said the two units involved in the reports of fires were not from that batch.

Chinese airlines have asked passengers not to use or charge the Note 7 models during flights or carry them in their checked luggage, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said.

Meanwhile, Samsung has sold shares it held in four technology companies, including United States chipmaker Rambus and Japan’s Sharp, to free up money and focus on its main business, including smartphone, and probably to cover the cost of the Note 7 recall, reports said.

Analyst Lee Seung-woo of Seoul-based IBK Investment & Securities said that the recall may eventually cost Samsung up to 3.3 trillion won (US$2.9 billion), potentially denting future smartphone sales and forcing the company to spend more on marketing.



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