Update: The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been recalled due to multiple reports indicating that the phone can spontaneously catch fire or begin smoking. If you own a Note 7 you should power it down and return it to the manufacturer or your carrier as soon as possible.**
Samsung has delayed some Galaxy Note 7 shipments in South Korea for testing after reports that batteries in some of the new smartphones exploded during charging.
The South Korean electronics giant is doing additional quality control tests after several explosions of consumers' phones were reported by the country's Yonhap News agency. Note 7 shipments are continuing globally and this delay affects the South Korean market only, Samsung spokeswoman Sophia Kim told the Associated Press Thursday.
Yonhap News reported that Note 7 deliveries to three South Korean mobile carriers had been stopped earlier this week. "Shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 are being delayed due to additional tests being conducted for product quality," Samsung said Wednesday in a statement to Reuters. Samsung did not return a request for comment from USA TODAY.
Concerns couldn't come at a worse time for Samsung, which launched the pen-based Note 7 phablet -- a cross between a phone and tablet and larger than the flagship Galaxy S7 smartphone -- Aug. 19 in the U.S. and South Korea and today in China. Anticipation for the new device had raised concerns that Samsung could meet global demand.
With the massive IFA electronics trade show opening Friday in Berlin, the company unveiled its new Gear 3S smartwatch Wednesday. And smartphone competitor Apple is expected to reveal its latest iPhone models next week at an event in San Francisco.
In July, Samsung reported its most profitable quarter in two years, thanks to Galaxy S7 sales. Shares of Samsung closed down 2% Thursday on South Korea's KOSPI, causing a decline of about $4 billion in the company's market value.
Pictures of damaged phones could be found on Twitter over the last 24 hours. In its story with the headline "Exploding phablet phears phorce Samsung Galaxy Note 7 delay," London-headquartered online tech news site The Register noted that consumer battery explosions and fires had occurred when an older microUSB to USB Type-C converter cord had been used to charge the Note 7.
Credit: Jeremy Stamas