SINGAPORE - Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note7 may now get a refund for the recalled phone following an unprecedented decision by world's largest handset maker to pull the plug on its flagship device barely two months after its launch.
Alternatively, they may also exchange the Note7 for another model, with a refund of the price difference between devices. It is not clear, however, whether consumers can switch to rivals' products. It is also not clear what the refund amount will be.
Announcing the remedy to Singapore customers, Samsung said in a statement late Wednesday (Oct 12): "The company is in close discussions with its telecommunication operator and retail partners, and details on how Galaxy Note7 customers can go about the exchange or refund will be provided soon.
"Samsung is also looking into remedies for Galaxy Note7 customers who purchased the Samsung Concierge service. Consumers can call 1800-SAMSUNG (7267864) for further assistance," it said.
Early on Tuesday, the firm and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission had asked consumers to stop using the phone over fire concerns, even among the supposedly safe replacement handsets.
There were several reports of the phone emitting smoke or catching fire even after they had been exchanged during a global recall programme last month. The global recall involved 2.5 million handsets, including tens of thousands of units in Singapore.
One notable incident of the replacement phone emitting smoke took place on Oct 5, causing a Southwest Airlines flight at Louisville International Airport to be evacuated.
Samsung had initially put the blame on faulty batteries, but it is now working with safety regulators around the world to investigate the perpetuating problem.
The move to stop production raises questions, such as what could have caused the critical flaw, which continued to dog the Note7 even after the original sets were replaced.
The Note7, launched in August, was meant to rival the Apple iPhone 7 released last month. The product, which sports an iris scanner and S Pen stylus, among other features, received rave reviews.