Samsung has delayed shipments of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in South Korea for quality control testing after reports that batteries in some of the jumbo smartphones exploded while they were being charged.
Spokeswoman Sophia Kim said on Thursday that the delay affects the South Korean market only and is due to additional tests for quality evaluations. She said media reports that Samsung has stopped shipments of the flagship phone are not true.
Samsung said it is investigating the reports of the explosions. South Korea’s Yonhap News said five or six explosions were reported by consumers, citing pictures of damaged phones uploaded on local online communities, social media and YouTube.
It is unusual for Samsung to confirm a delay in sales of a device.
The delay has not affected the Note 7’s launch in China, an important market for Samsung. The company planned to kick off sales of the Note 7 in Chinese online markets as scheduled later on Thursday.
The Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is the latest iteration of Samsung’s Note series that feature a giant screen and a stylus. The Note series smartphones are one of the most expensive lineups released by Samsung and usually inherit designs and features of the Galaxy S series that debut in the spring.
Samsung also added an iris scanner to the Note 7, which lets users unlock the phone by detecting patterns in the eyes.
Samsung launched the Note 7 on August 19 in some markets, including South Korea and the US.
Even before the issue of battery explosions emerged, supplies were not keeping up with higher-than-expected demand for the smartphone.
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