Samsung has officially halted production of the Galaxy Note7, following multiple reports of batteries overheating and catching fire even in devices replaced during last month's recall.
The company confirmed it has permanently discontinued production of its flagship smartphone, leaving the company without a high-end device to compete against the iPhone 7 with during the holiday shopping season.
During last month's major product recall, Samsung had blamed a single battery supplier for the overheating problem that caused the fires, and had switched suppliers for production of the replacement models. But with multiple reports that even replaced devices are catching fire, this explanation is in doubt.
Samsung is offering Note7 buyers either full refunds, or the option to replace their device with an S7 or S7 Edge and receive a refund for the difference in price.
Analysts are predicting that permanently ending Note7 sales could cost Samsung up to $17 billion in lost sales, and the potential for reputational damage is arguably even greater.
Curiously, analysis from mobile application technology company Apteligent suggests that the reports of exploding batteries have done little to deter usage of Note7 devices. As of Sunday, the smartphone reached its highest usage rate since in August launch - 10% higher than the date of the recall. The first reports of replacement devices exploding began circulating days earlier.