Samsung says 96pc of all Galaxy Note7 devices have been returned

12 Jan 2017

The return of the Samsung Note7 represents the biggest product recall in tech industry history. Image: Samsung/Flickr

Following a recall that began in September after revelations that some Note7 devices caught fire, Samsung announced that 96pc of devices have been returned by users.

Samsung revealed that the US Department of Transportation has recognised the return rate, by cancelling the requirement for pre-boarding warnings about the Note7 to passengers intending to travel on airplanes.

The technology giant appears to be bouncing back from what was a disastrous 2016, and last week said that fourth-quarter profits are likely to be up 50pc from a year ago, the highest level in more than three years.

At first, Samsung’s Note7 smartphone device attracted rave reviews but was mired by revelations that the devices caught fire and, in some cases, exploded.

This prompted the banning of the device on airlines, a PR nightmare for the buttoned-up Korean smartphone manufacturer.

A record product recall

In what has to be the biggest product recall in tech industry history, Samsung had to recall around 2.5m Note7 smartphones.

While a 96pc return rate sounds really effective, don’t forget that Samsung also had to call in special forces, in the form of a software update that permanently disabled charging on outstanding Note7 devices.

“By leveraging our digital technology to target each device, we’ve had over 96pc of Galaxy Note7 phones returned to date,” the company said.

Samsung is understood to be planning the publication of a report that will explain in greater depth how the whole debacle occurred.

“Together with our wireless carriers, we have taken aggressive action to limit the remaining phones’ ability to work as mobile devices, further enhancing participation in the recall. We thank the Department of Transportation, airlines, airports, our partners and Note7 owners for their patience and support during this time,” Samsung said in a statement.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years