Samsung Myanmar Recalls Note 7 Smart Phone

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 6 September 2016

RANGOON — Samsung Myanmar is cancelling the Sept. 11 launch of its Galaxy Note 7 smart phone in Burma and is offering the several hundred recipients of pre-ordered devices their money back or a replacement handset in October.

This comes as part of a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7, beginning on Friday, after 35 confirmed cases of the lithium-ion battery exploding or catching fire while charging—although no cases have been reported in Burma so far.

The new smart phone model was put on general release in certain countries, including the US and South Korea, in late August. Delays in the phone’s release in other countries caused by the large volume of pre-orders—available in Burma from the end of August, via a Samsung tie-in with Burma’s KBZ Bank—are to be prolonged by the global recall.

“We have received several hundred pre-orders of the Note 7 in [Burma]. We will take care of those people. New handsets will be available for them in October,” said U Zarni Win Htet, head of IT and Mobile Channel for Samsung Myanmar.

“This is the first time we’ve had to recall Samsung products in Burma,” he said.

In a statement released on Monday, Samsung Myanmar said they were “conducting a thorough inspection with suppliers to identify possible affected batteries in the market.”

“Our customers’ safety is an absolute priority at Samsung; we have stopped sales of the Galaxy Note 7.”

Under the pre-order plan, the smart phones—assembled in factories in Vietnam—could be bought in Burma for 920,000 kyats (US$758).

The statement said that customers not prepared to wait until October for a replacement, or who want a cash refund, must got to the “Pre-Order Pick-up Shop,” where they previously collected the phone, between Sept. 1-18—bringing with them the “full package” (gift pack, charger, cover, box, accessories), a receipt, and their KBZ Bank account number.

Ko Thiha Aung, a regular buyer of Samsung products and a recipient of a pre-ordered Galaxy Note 7, said he would wait for a replacement in October.

“I have not heard about any battery problems happening here. I think Samsung does not want its image to be affected—that’s why they announced the recall of its product,” he said.