Korean electronics giant Samsung plans to resume sales of its maligned Galaxy Note 7 phablet in its home country beginning on September 28, but American consumers must prepare to wait the better part of a month to get their presumably large hands on an updated hardware revision of the phone. American sales of the handset are not expected to begin again until October 21, according to leaked Samsung planning documents acquired by VentureBeat.
The embargo on Note 7 sales affects prospective buyers as well as those who already spent the $860 Samsung commands for its large format flagship smartphone. Samsung recalled all 2.5 million Note 7 phones shipped worldwide due to lithium ion batteries that could overheat and catch on fire. According to the Los Angeles Times, 92 reports of Note 7-related battery fires have been reported in the United States alone. The Federal Aviation Administration asked passengers to leave their Note 7 phones at home rather than risk a fire inside an aircraft.
Samsung has announced a software update that will limit Note 7 battery charging to only 60% of total capacity in order to reduce the risk of fire in phones not yet returned in the company's recall efforts. In the short time since the recall announcement, rumors swirled that Samsung could remotely deactivate phones of customers who chose not to participate in the recall. Samsung has since denied these rumors.
Samsung launched the Note 7 in China on September 1, after reports of fires in other markets began to surface. Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung's mobile division, said that Chinese sales would not be halted because Chinese market phones shipped with batteries produced by Amperex, while the phones implicated in fires in other markets were equipped with batteries from Samsung SDI. Two accounts of Note 7 fires have been reported in China; Samsung reports that its investigation of the first reported incident had no evidence of a battery problem. The company says it was not able to investigate the second report because it has not been able to gain access to the phone.
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