Samsung on Monday announced that more than half a million replacement Galaxy Note 7 smartphones had shipped to carrier and retail stores in the U.S.. Sure enough, a day later they're starting to show as being in-stock at places such as Verizon and Sprint, and we suspect that other wireless carriers (AT&T and T-Mobile at the very least) won't be far behind.
It's a good sign for Samsung that wireless carriers are again listing its Galaxy Note 7 device. Analysts had predicted that the Galaxy Note 7 debacle could end up costing Samsung as much as $1 billion, and the company's already seen its market capitalization drop by $22 billion as skittish investors opted to put their money elsewhere. However, the relatively quick turnaround from recall to replacement could mitigate the damage.
For those of you just now waking up from a coma, the Galaxy Note 7 got off to a rocky start due to the use of defective battery packs that were prone to overheat and catch fire. Since launching, there have been several reports of exploding Galaxy Note 7 handsets and subsequent damage to people and property.
Samsung initially tried to handle the recall on its own though (wisely) ended up working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to formally recall 1 million Galaxy Note 7 phones. As part of the recall, Samsung said it received 92 reports of batteries overheating in the U.S. alone, including 26 reports of burns and 55 incidents involving property damage, among them fires in cars and a garage.
It was a disastrous roll out for what had been a widely praised handset. Though the recall could have gone smoother, Samsung has done a good job in getting replacement devices to wireless carriers in a timely manner. The question is whether consumers have lost confidence in the Galaxy Note 7 or will ultimately trust that the issue's been fully resolved.
"Available now the new Galaxy Note 7. The Galaxy Note 7 was previously recalled on September 9th by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to an issue with the device's battery. This new Galaxy Note 7 has been approved by the (CPSC) for all purchases and exchanges," Verizon states on its Galaxy Note 7 product page.
There's no such message on Sprint's product page, though it's available to purchase from either carrier.