[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics
' fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 is unlikely to be killed off this year in South Korea, as there are still around 140,000 users who have not yet returned the recalled devices.
According to local news reports on Dec.20, Samsung may lower the battery charging limit from the current 60 percent rather than complete disable the phones like the company would do in the US.
Since Samsung began recalling the phones in October, 85 percent of the total 950,000 units sold here have been returned.
“There will be strong opposition from consumers if Samsung disables the devices soon. The company may have to wait until the return rate reaches 95 percent,” an anonymous industry source told The Korea Herald.
Samsung Electronics, which runs its exchange and refund programs within this month, will reportedly discuss further measures about charging limit and refund policies with local mobile carriers next week.
Samsung Electronics said nothing has currently been confirmed.
“We have not yet made any conclusion regarding further recall plans of Note 7 with Samsung Electronics. It is unlikely Samsung will kill off the device this year like it did in the US,” said an anonymous official from a local mobile carrier.
In the US, Samsung will update software in January to disable the Galaxy Note 7 as 93 percent of recalled Note 7 were returned.
Three US mobile carriers -- T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint -- plan to issue software updates to prevent the Galaxy Note 7 battery from recharging.
In New Zealand, Samsung already has cut off access to wireless networks for Note 7 users. In Europe, Samsung is restricting Galaxy Note 7 batteries to 30 percent.
“Although there may be some oppositions from consumers, the company should be more active in recall as the measure is made out of safety issues rather than simple quality problems,” said an official from the Korea Consumer Agency.
By Shin Ji-hye/The Korea Herald (email@example.com