SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Samsung Electronics said Friday that the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 would cost the company about US$ 3 billion during the current and next quarters, bringing the total cost of the recall to at least $ 5.3 billion.
The Note 7 discontinuation will cost in the mid-2 trillion won range during the October-December period and another 1 trillion won ($ 884 million) during the January-March quarter, the company said in a statement.
Samsung already slashed its third-quarter profit forecast by $ 2.6 billion earlier this week, an amount that could wipe out its entire mobile business profit. That did not include the cost of Samsung’s first recall, which analysts estimated at 1 trillion won to 2 trillion won.
Samsung has enough cash and other businesses to absorb the shock from the phone recall. It said it expected to generate 5.2 trillion won ($ 4.6 billion) in operating income during the third quarter after the recall cost. Analysts said most of the income will be generated by sales of advanced displays and semiconductors.
The company said it will expand sales of two other smartphones released in spring, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, quashing rumours that it may try to release updated versions of those devices. Samsung usually releases a new iteration of the Galaxy S series in spring, so the company may have to provide a strong incentive to sell the 6-month-old phones, such as lowering their prices.
Due to unexplained fires and overheating problems, more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were recalled before the product was discontinued earlier this week just two months after its launch in August.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the country, including 23 new reports since the first recall announcement last month. The company received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damages associated with the phones.
The botched recall raised questions about Samsung’s initial analysis of the Note 7 phone’s problems. At first, Samsung said a minor manufacturing error in the batteries for the Note 7 was causing the phones to overheat.
The Note 7 device was one of the most expensive smartphones in the market with all the latest technologies from Samsung, including the ability to unlock the phone by scanning a user’s iris. It was sold for between $ 850 and $ 890.