Samsung is urging anyone with a Galaxy Note7 to switch their smartphone off


More bad news for Samsung's flagship smartphone the Galaxy Note7. The Korean tech giant halted sales of the smartphone and urged owners to switch them off following reports that handsets issued as safe replacements during a recall had caught fire.

On Tuesday the company announced they were reducing production of the smartphone, then to release a statement saying: "Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place."

Samsung Galaxy Note7

The manufacturer said it is "working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7´´.

This has had a huge impact on Samsung: the company's share price tumbled 7% in trading in Seoul on Tuesday, wiping billions of pounds off its value.

Samsung's tumblng share price at the Korea Exchange in Seoul on Tuesday

The £740 smartphone was due to relaunch in the UK at the end of October after sales were delayed amid concerns that the mobiles were at risk of overheating or catching fire.

Samsung said it was confident it had overcome an issue with the devices' battery after a reported 2.5 million handsets were recalled worldwide.

US officials said they were probing at least five incidents of fire or overheating reported since Samsung first recalled the devices in September.

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Meanwhile authorities in South Korea said they had found a new product defect in the Note 7, but did not identify the issue.

The company said 45,000 Note7s had been sold in Europe through the pre-order campaign - the majority in the UK - and more than 75% had since been replaced with either a Note7 or another Samsung handset.

Samsung said in September that it was "confident" it had completely overcome the problem and was ready to launch the device.

Samsung Galaxy Note7

However, concerns were raised over further defects beyond the battery cell, following several reports in the US of phones catching fire that showed the green battery icon Samsung added to replacement phones to mark them as safe.

"This has been a real black eye on the product," said Ben Bajarin, a consumer tech industry analyst with the Creative Strategies firm.

Dee Decasa's replacement Galaxy Note7 smartphone released smoke and sizzled

In September Samsung saw £11 billion wiped off its market value when it first recalled the handset intended to take on Apple's iPhone 7 plus. Ouch.

So if you've got a Galaxy Note7 or replacement device, it would probably be wise to switch off your phone right now.