Turn Off Your Galaxy Note 7 Now - Samsung Tells Users 

Samsung has halted sales of its controversial Galaxy Note 7 smartphones and told owners to switch them off while it investigates more reports of the flagship phones bursting into flames.

The world’s top smartphone maker said on Tuesday it had asked all global carriers to stop sales of Note 7s and stop exchanging original devices for replacements, while it worked with regulators to look into the problem.

“Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device,” the South Korean firm said in statement.

Samsung’s decision to pull Note 7s off the shelves for the second time in less than two months has raised doubts about the firm’s quality control, while industry commentators have questioned transparency at the tech giant.

“It is extremely difficult organisation to get an interview and to get information from. That’s the way it operates,” Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said, reporting from Seoul, said.

“Some say if it’s taken off the shelf entirely, if this model is just canceled, as many say it really has to be now, it’s going cost the company $17bn.”

Top US and Australian carriers on Monday suspended sales or exchanges of the Note 7s, while aviation authorities banned passengers using the phones, after smoke from a replacement device forced the evacuation of a passenger plane in the United States last week.

“Its share prices at the close of trading here in Seoul were down by eight percent which is nearly $17bn in terms of valuation of this hugely influential powerful and wealthy company in South Korea,” Al Jazeera’s Fawcett said.

The premium device launched in August and was supposed to compete with Apple Inc’s latest iPhone for supremacy in the smartphone market. Well received by critics, its first problem was a shortage as pre-orders overwhelmed supply.

But within days of the launch images of charred Note 7s began appearing on social media, in the first sign that something was seriously amiss. Samsung has since recalled 2.5 million Note 7s due to faulty batteries.

This has probably killed the Note 7 brand name – who knows if they’ll even be allowed to re-release it,” said Edward Snyder, managing director of Charter Equity Research.

Samsung did not immediately comment on whether it was considering ending Note 7 sales permanently or whether it had identified the cause for the fires in replacement devices. The company is offering refunds and to exchange Note 7s for other products.

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