Samsung has axed its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, stopping production of the faulty device a day after it halted global sales of the product.
The South Korean tech giants said on Tuesday it made the final decision to stop production for the sake of consumer safety after a huge number of the phones overheated and spontaneously burst into flames.
‘Taking our customer’s safety as our highest priority, we have decided to halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7,’ the company said.
A spokesperson for Samsung confirmed to MailOnline that the smartphone has been ‘permanently discontinued’.
Samsung was struggling to regain consumer trust after a first round of recalls.
The company stopped selling the device after finding that even the supposedly safer replacements it was providing for recalled Note 7 phones were catching fire.
The firm says customers with original Note 7 devices or replacements they obtained after the recall should turn off the power and seek a refund or exchange them for different phones.
The axing of the Note 7 will translate into lost sales of up to 19 million phones, or nearly $17 billion (£14 billion), according to analysts at Credit Suisse.
After the initial recall it was expected Samsung would lose $5 billion (£4 billion) in expected sales and recall costs based on the assumption that the firm would resume global Note 7 sales.
The Korean technology giant’s share price tumbled 7 per cent in trading in Seoul on Tuesday, wiping billions of dollars off its value.
The announcement follows several new incidents of overheating last week.
South Korean media reported Monday that Samsung’s factories stopped making the fire-prone phones but Samsung insisted it was making production adjustments to improve inspections and quality control.
Leading mobile network operators had already said they would stop distributing new Note 7 phones as replacements for the earlier recall.
The scale of the problem was first revealed when Samsung announced on September 2 a global recall of 2.5 million Note 7s in 10 markets, including the United States, due to faulty batteries causing some of the phones to catch fire. In the U.S. the handset costs $834-$880.
The smartphone was due to relaunch in the UK, costing £740 ($907), at the end of October after sales were delayed amid concerns that the mobiles were at risk of overheating or catching fire.
The company said 45,000 Note 7s had been sold in Europe through the pre-order campaign – the majority in the UK – and more than 75 per cent had since been replaced with either a Note 7 or another Samsung handset.
China’s quality watchdog said on Tuesday Samsung’s local unit will recall all 190,984 Galaxy Note 7 phones that it has sold in the mainland.
The first report of a Note 7 explosion surfaced on August 24 in South Korea and since then there have been more than 100 reports of battery failures or fires in the U.S. alone.
U.S. consumer safety officials said they’re investigating five incidents of fire or overheating since the company announced a recall last month.
Some analysts have claimed Samsung has ‘dragged its heels’ over its announcement to halt sales and production.
Last week, authorities had to evacuate a Southwest Airlines flight when a replacement phone began emitting smoke.
Many airlines across the world are now either refusing to allow passengers on the plane with the devices or they are demanding that they are turned off before boarding.
Meanwhile, Kentucky man Michael Klering told local media he was ‘scared to death’ when he woke up to find his bedroom full of smoke due to his replacement phone catching fire.
‘The whole room just covered in smoke, smells awful. I look over and my phone is on fire,’ Mr Klering said.
He claimed he had only had his replacement handset for a little more than a week before it caught fire.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.