image

Facebook

Hong Kong-based Galaxy Note 7 user claims in Facebook post her device emitted smoke and melted

Samsung counters it conducted an immediate probe and attributes the damage to an external heat source

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2016, 7:43pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2016, 5:54pm

Samsung Electronics Hong Kong has denied that the exploding battery problem afflicting its new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones has reached the city, after a ­woman claimed her ­device emitted smoke and melted on Monday.

A Samsung representative on Tuesday told the Post the company had on Monday night “received the phone for ­inspection” and conducted “an immediate examination” of the device.“Based on the investigation ... the damage to the phone was caused by an external heat source,” he said.

The case was reported as Hong Kong’s first involving a Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

It came to light on Tuesdaywhen a picture of a damaged phone was posted on a Facebook page of a person who identified herself as “Christy Wong”.

Wong claimed she picked up the new 64-gigabyte device on September 2 but took it back to the retailer the next day after hearing reports the product was being recalled. But she claimed she was told it did not need to be replaced.

The incident happened on Monday when she was using the phone at her home, Wong said.

“The phone made a squeaky noise as I was using it,” she wrote. “I immediately dropped it. It then started emitting smoke and later melted.”

She added that she “felt heartbroken” because the device was a gift from her husband.

Photographs posted on Wong’s Facebook page of a damaged phone showed its back cover had melted. But she did not say whether anyone was hurt.

The phone made a squeaky noise as I was using it ... It then started emitting smoke and later melted
Facebook user “Christy Wong”

Wong wrote that she returned to the shop with the damaged phone and was told it needed to be sent back to Samsung.

“Yesterday, the phone exploded. Today, I suffered fever. What happened?” she posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

The Post entered in Samsung’s website the phone’s unique 15-digit international mobile equipment identity number as it was pictured in the Facebook post.

The website generated a response stating the device bearing the number was “not eligible” for Samsung’s local Galaxy Note 7 ­replacement programme.

“The battery of this device is not provided by the affected supplier, so you can be assured that it is safe for use,” the response read.

Watch: Singed Samsung starts smartphone swap

Samsung launched its global recall of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones earlier this month after ­reports of battery explosions.

Based on the investigation ... the damage to the phone was caused by an external heat source
Samsung representative

But the company stressed its global replacement programme did not apply to products from the line bought in Hong Kong and Macau on or after September 2.

“We wish to re-emphasise that Galaxy Note 7s purchased in Hong Kong and Macau from authorised resellers or authorised distributors on or after September 2, 2016, are not affected by the issue as those batteries are provided by a different supplier,” the company said in a statement on September 11.

It added that fewer than 500 units of the model sold between August 26 and September 1 were identified with the battery issue.

On Saturday, the company issued another statement saying a mandatory software update would be issued the next day for the remaining 159 Galaxy Note 7 devices that had been purchased in Hong Kong and Macau ­between August 26 and September 1 and not replaced.