Smartphone leader Samsung has sold shares that it had held in at least four technology firms to perhaps brace for the world’s biggest known recall—of its flagship model, Galaxy Note 7—triggered by a slew of fire reports. It, so far, has released about 2.5 million Note 7 devices across the world and news reports suggest it will be a total recall.
Share unloading was done to free up money and focus on its main business, the South Korean tech giant announced, naming the four companies—US chip-maker Rambus, Japan’s Sharp, Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASLM and US hard drive maker Seagate.
As the recall of its supposedly faulty 2.5 million devices is estimated to cost more than $1 billion, the sale of shares is seen as a swift move to balance its spreadsheet.
Several instances of its Galaxy Note 7 device catching fire have been reported, with the latest coming in from China. Samsung said on Monday the Note 7 the Chinese user claimed caught on fire was damaged by external heating, seeking to assure customers in the world’s top smartphone market the devices being sold there are safe.
Four days back, a report from Florida showed a car in flames, suggesting that it was caused by a Note 7 explosion. Samsung had received over 90 reports of batteries overheating in the United States, including 26 reports of burns and 55 cases of property damage, following which it has been ordered to recall the devices. Two days back, a 28-year-old man whose Galaxy Note7 exploded in his pocket while at work in Palm Beach Gardens this month has filed a lawsuit against Samsung.
A Reuters report said Samsung last week announced a recall of 1,858 Note 7 phones in China but those devices were products distributed before the official Sept. 1 launch. The company said the phones sold through the official launch used batteries different from those in reported fires.