Tech giant Samsung has suspended the sale of its latest Galaxy Note 7 model amid reports some of the phones batteries are exploding or catching fire.
Several users have posted pictures and videos online showing the charred remains of devices they claim went up in smoke while being charged.
The South Korean firm said it would take about two weeks to replace the faulty devices with new ones.
“It pains my heart”
Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s smartphone business expressed regret at the recall, which will affect markets including South Korea and the US – but not China, where models feature a different battery.
At a news conference Koh said: “I can’t comment on exactly how much the cost will be, but it pains my heart that it will be such a big number.”
The global recall comes only two weeks after the well received flagship device was launched.
Koh declined to comment on the number of phones needing replacement. He said Samsung had sold 2.5 million of the premium devices so far.
The manufacturer plans to replace not only phones with faulty batteries sold to consumers, but also retailer inventories and units in transit.
This comes at the worst possible time for Samsung as rival Apple is set to present the latest version of its iPhone model next week.
Samsung said new sales of the Note 7 in affected markets would resume after it deals with replacements, a process it expects will begin in about two weeks.
The firm would extend refund periods for affected customers and offer exchanges for other Samsung phones, Koh confirmed.
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