Samsung Electronics may have some comfort after its debacle with faulty batteries in the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.
The South Korean company reported Thursday that about 500,000 devices, or half of the recalled Galaxy Note 7 phones sold in the U.S., have been exchanged through its program.
Interestingly, "90 percent of Galaxy Note 7 owners have been opting to receive the new Galaxy Note 7," since the phones became available on Wednesday, Samsung said. That figure suggests that most of the users of the Note 7 have chosen to stay with the smartphone model, with new batteries, rather than go in for a refund or exchange the phone with another Samsung model.
Under an official program announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1 million Note 7 smartphones were recalled following concerns about faulty lithium-ion batteries in the devices, which could overheat and even explode. CPSC said it had received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the U.S., including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damages, including fires in a car and garage.
As part of the arrangement with the CPSC, Samsung said users could return the phones for a refund, or exchange it for a new Note 7 device, in which the battery issues had been resolved. The company also announced an exchange of the Note 7 with Samsung’s Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge devices, and replacement of any Note 7 specific accessories, with a refund of the price difference between devices.
The company said Tuesday that over 500,000 new Galaxy Note 7 replacement devices had arrived in the U.S. and been shipped to carrier and retail stores, and would be available for exchange at retail locations nationwide on Wednesday.
It is not clear how soon Samsung plans to meet the balance demand for replacement Note 7 devices. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.
Samsung and CPSC have urged consumers of Note 7 phones sold before Sept. 15 to power down their device.
A number of countries have issued recalls for the phones, including Canada. The Note 7 was banned from use or charging on U.S. airlines by the Department of Transportation.