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Samsung apologizes for Galaxy Note 7. Is it enough?

Samsung took out full-page ads in three major US daily newspapers apologizing to consumers for the catastrophic problems of the Galaxy Note 7.

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In this Oct. 10, 2016 file photo, a man passes by Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note 7 smartphones at the company's shop in Seoul, South Korea.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

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Tech company Samsung found itself in a sticky situation this fall after it was forced to halt sales of a product that it launched to much acclaim in August, the Galaxy Note 7. Now, Samsung is offering the world an apology.

While buyers praised the Note 7’s camera and screen size, the device’s fire-prone batteries generated concerns among both buyers and federal regulators, with the Federal Aviation Authority grounding the device for good in early September.

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Samsung says that it is working hard to ameliorate the situation. On Monday, the company debuted full page ads in several major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, apologizing for its failure to fulfill quality expectations.

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Samsung wrote, “An important tenet of our mission is to offer best-in-class safety and quality. Recently, we fell short on this promise. For this we are truly sorry. We will re-examine every aspect of the device, including all hardware, software, manufacturing and the overall battery structure.”

“We will move as quickly as possible, but will take the time needed to get the right answers.”

The ad also mentions problems with 34 different models of Samsung top-load washing machines, involving the detachment of the tops of the washing machines from the chassis. Samsung recalled 2.8 million units of the washers in the US last week after receiving more than 700 reports of malfunction.

The company first issued a product recall for the Note 7 just two weeks after it was initially launched in August this year. The phone’s batteries were found to be fire prone after several phones ignited while charging.

When it issued the recall, Samsung said that it expected to replace both retailer inventories and phones already purchased by customers. One week after the recall in September, the FAA issued warnings to fliers, asking them to refrain from turning on phones while in flight, or storing the devices in checked baggage.

Some individual airlines, such as Singapore Airlines and Australia’s Qantas Airways, also issued their own bans.

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Samsung finally shut down production of the phone in October after consumer watchdog complaints, The Christian Science Monitor reported.

"No one should have to be concerned their phone will endanger them, their family or their property," US Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye said in a statement emailed to USA Today. "Due to the ongoing safety concerns associated with Galaxy Note 7 phones, it is the right move for Samsung to suspend the sale and exchange of all Galaxy Note 7s."

Approximately 85 percent of the phones have been returned  to Samsung thus far, and the company has taken a $5-billion bath on the product.

Samsung says that it will delay the announcement of its Galaxy S8 model until late February next year.


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