Samsung’s troubled Galaxy Note 7 may not return to stores for another four weeks

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Still interested in buying the Galaxy Note 7? Undeterred by Samsung’s battery-based botch? Then hopefully you have oodles of patience, too, as you may not be able to get your hands on it till October 21 at the earliest.

That’s when American carriers will relaunch the device, according to documents seen by VentureBeat, although of course, customers returning faulty Note 7 units in the coming days and weeks should receive their replacement handset before then. The October date, if correct, points to the U.S. market only, so could differ for other countries. In Samsung’s home country of South Korea, for example, the Note 7 is expected to go back on sale on September 28.

A further four weeks off the shelves is set to hit Samsung mighty hard, preventing the 5.7-inch Note 7 from competing with Apple’s just-released iPhone 7 Plus device. And, as if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, the October 21 relaunch date is rumored to be the exact same day that LG’s highly rated V20 handset lands in U.S. stores.

Exploding phone

Reports of some Note 7 devices spontaneously combusting began to emerge shortly after the handset’s release in August. The Korean company responded by issuing a voluntary recall of the phablet, promising to replace it for free. But when it became apparent that many of the world’s 2.5 million Note 7 owners seemed happy to hang on to their device, Samsung put out a more urgent formal recall to encourage owners to swap it for one guaranteed to be safe.

In the U.S., that recall came on September 15 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and urged the million or so U.S.-based owners of the device to stop using it immediately and return it for a replacement.

CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye described the handset as a “serious fire hazard” while revealing that Samsung had so far received more than 90 reports of Note 7 batteries overheating in the U.S. alone. This included 26 reports of burns and 55 incidents of property damage, “including fires in cars and a garage.”

Samsung admitted that clearing up the situation is likely to cost the company a “heartbreaking” $1 billion, with the company recently unloading shares in four companies to help cover costs.

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