Despite a recall and well organised scare campaign by reporters loyal to Apple, Samsung can’t get owners to part with their Note 7.
For those who came in late, the Note 7 appeared to have battery problems which caused some of them to melt. Samsung started a recall procedure but not before the Tame Apple Press started printing stories of “exploding” phones and the US government took the unprecedented step of banning them on flights. The fact that US company Apple had just released its lack-lustre iPhone 7 had nothing to do with it. Honest.
Samsung has just announced that it has shipped 500,000 replacement Galaxy Note 7 devices to US retailers and carriers. They’ll be available beginning tomorrow to owners of the original, Note 7 for in-store exchanges.
This first batch of replenishment stock is intended exclusively for exchanges; Samsung hasn’t yet said when Note 7 retail sales will officially resume, probably in October.
But Samsung is having trouble getting people to part with their original phones. It says less than a quarter have been exchanged in the United States.
Samsung thinks that is an extraordinarily fast start toward achieving our goal of removing every single affected Note 7 from circulation. But given how much fear has been raised in the press, it does suggest that the company might have a few problems prising notes from the hands of users.
The theory is that the exchange rate will shoot up much quicker now that consumers can make a direct swap for Samsung’s latest batch of Note 7 shipments.