SEOUL/SINGAPORE Oct 14 As Samsung Electronics
Co struggles to limit the damage from the Galaxy
Note 7 fiasco, it is finding slivers of support from faithful
users of the glitzy smartphone who are reluctant to give it up
and switch to an alternative.
The premium $882 device that was meant to compete with Apple
Inc's latest iPhones at the top end of the smartphone
market was scrapped on Tuesday, less than two months after its
launch, due to safety fears following reports of fires caused by
"I don't think I am going to go with Note 7 forever. But the
problem is there is no other phone that I like," said Jo
Hyang-won, a 32-year-old office worker in South Korea.
Jo said there are other users she is aware of who also say
they wish Samsung would find the cause of the problem and fix
After announcing a global recall of 2.5 million Note 7s in
early September, Samsung said this week it is permanently
stopping their production and sales. It has urged users to power
down the device and has offered to exchange it for other models
A member of an online forum which has more than 3,000 people
signed up to discuss Note 7 in South Korea wrote: "I don't want
to use other phones."
Boasting distinct features such as curved screen, an iris
scanner, and a pen accessory, the 5.7-inch phone was widely
expected to accelerate Samsung's mobile-sales momentum that had
helped it post surging profits earlier this year.
The large-screen phone employs a similar design to Samsung's
flagship Galaxy S7, which was the best-selling Android phone in
the first half of this year, and Samsung had hoped the Note 7
would enjoy a similar appeal.
But Samsung now expects to take a hit to profits of around
$5.3 billion from the Note 7 failure. It blamed faulty batteries
for the original problem but has given no inkling about the
cause of overheating in the replacement phones.
The batteries, ironically, were what endeared the phone to
"It's a beautiful phone. I like the whole interface. It's
very smooth and very fast," said Kenneth Wayne Wong, a tennis
coach in Singapore, who purchased two Note 7s - one for himself
and one for his son.
"The battery lasts very long. I charge and unplug it every
morning around 5:30 and it can last me all the way to night...
and I still have 30 percent balance."
Yet, for some like Sidrah Ahmad in Singapore, safety
considerations mean eventually giving up the Note 7.
"I am trying to ignore the voices in my head saying I should
stop. But I think I'll have to stop soon," said the 34-year-old
"Why? (I'm) constantly being conscious whether the device is
getting too warm... it's getting in the way of the positive
experience of the phone."
(Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)