A Chinese user of the Samsung Note 7 said on Wednesday his device exploded while charging, raising fears of fresh battery issues hitting the South Korean company’s phones after a massive recall.
The news comes after Samsung was forced to recall 2.5 million Note 7 handsets shipped to the US, South Korea, and other markets, following complaints that faulty batteries caused the phones to explode while charging.
Samsung currently sources batteries from a number of companies. The electronics giant has not named the maker behind the faulty battery but uses a different supplier for the Chinese market, where sales were not suspended.
Earlier this month, the company investigated two claims that Note 7 phones bought online in China had exploded, but found that the problem was caused by an external heat source, Bloomberg News reported.
In the latest incident on Sunday morning, a Chinese customer who goes by the name Hui complained that his Note 7 “phablet” — purchased on Saturday — exploded and scorched his Macbook nearby.
Footage provided to AFP by Hui shows the phone, attached to a USB charger, melting as smoke wafts off of it.
Samsung representatives offered to refund Hui’s money and compensate him for the ruined laptop if he turns in the phone, he said, but he has refused to hand it over because he wants the company “to make a statement about the issue”.
A Samsung statement said it was “in contact with the customer and will conduct a thorough examination of the device in question once we receive it”.
The Note 7 was meant to kick-start growth this year as Samsung struggles to boost sales, squeezed by Apple in the high-end sector and Chinese rivals in the low-end market.
With images of charred phones flooding social media, the unprecedented recall has been a humiliation for Samsung and could cost the firm USD 3 billion in the long run, analysts say.
(With PTI inputs)