Samsung has promised to re-launch its flagship Note7 smartphone across Europe well before year-end, but has warned that it might not be until next year that it fully recovered from the defective battery fiasco.
David Lowes, Samsung’s chief marketing officer in Europe, said he expected new Note7s to be available everywhere by the end of November and well before the end of the fourth quarter.
The outfit has pledged to sell no new models until it fully completes the exchange of existing Note7S with faulty batteries,. An estimated 2.5 million Note7s were sold before the battery flaws led Samsung to issue a global recall early this month.
Samsung plans to resume Note7 sales in South Korea on 28 September Sales are to resume in Australia and Singapore in October, according to the company, which has not yet said when they will be available in other regions.
“We are confident that we can start to make up any ground that we have lost and get that momentum back into our business… get that total momentum back as we exit 2016 and set ourselves up for a strong 2017,” he said.
The Note7 was recalled in 10 markets globally, including the United States and Samsung’s home market of South Korea. Most of the affected phones sold in Europe shipped to three markets: Britain, Germany and France, Lowes said.
Lowes thinks the entire recall could be done in two weeks, clearing the way for new phone sales, although he admits this might be a tad ambitious given the complexity of reaching consumers through its extensive chain of distributors and marketing partners.
“Our mindset is to be expediting this over that time period and not have it continuing and continuing. Lowes cautioned that this goal may prove ambitious in practice.
Lowes said there was still pent-up demand for its marquee phone product in Europe, which was still largely in the pre-order rather than mass roll-out phase, with Note7 not yet available in many markets after launching in August. Samsung has no plans to scale back on its original marketing plans, he said.