Samsung said Wednesday it was doing its best to push through a challenging recall of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, as it offered a software fix to jolt users into returning defective devices.
The success of the recall is seen as crucial to Samsung retaining brand trust and loyalty and preventing customers defecting to arch-rival Apple’s new iPhone 7 or cheaper Chinese-made models.
The South Korean electronics giant moved quickly earlier this month to suspend sales of its latest large-screen smartphone and announced a recall of 2.5 million units already sold, after faulty batteries caused some handsets to explode during charging.
Samsung had advised consumers in 10 countries to trade their handsets for temporary replacement phones provided by the firm until it releases new Note 7s.
But many users have snubbed the offer, choosing to wait until the new phones were available, citing the inconvenience of switching devices for an interim period.
And different regulatory practices in different countries — as well as varying reactions from carriers — have caused a degree of customer uncertainty and confusion that is hampering Samsung’s efforts to get the recall behind it as quickly and painlessly as possible.