Samsung is suffering the embarrassment of having to recall the Galaxy Note 7, one of its hottest selling devices, due to dozens of reported cases of exploding batteries. But the controversy should blow over and not taint the company’s brand long term, according to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
“We start shipping the new Notes this week already,” Claure said in an interview with Fortune on Monday. “We’re going to pick them up and six months from now nobody will remember that there was a Note 7 recall.”
“Stuff like this happens,” he adds. “It has always happened. The world that we live in today just exposes it a thousand times more (with) the Internet, social media, and all that. But having issues with phones has been happening for quite a long time.”
The challenge has been getting Sprint (S) customers who bought a Note 7 to bring them back, the CEO said. “Consumers have a way of going about their business,” he says. “They look at 1 in a million explodes or 10 in a million explodes.”
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Still, the wireless carrier is trying every trick in the book—everything from text messages to direct appeals—to get customers to return the recalled Samsung devices.
Samsung has received 92 reports of malfunctioning batteries in the United States out of about 1 million devices sold here, the company said as part of a formal recall announcement made in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumers should immediately power down and stop using the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices, the commission said.
Some 2.5 million of the premium devices worldwide need to be recalled, Samsung said. Some analysts say the recall could cost Samsung nearly $5 billion in lost revenue this year.
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The battery problems occurred as Samsung was rushing to get the Note 7 out ahead of the iPhone 7, which was seen as a “dull” update, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The company pushed suppliers to deliver the Note 7 more quickly in an effort to capture customers who wouldn’t have as much interest in a barely updated iPhone 7. Now the recall may be aiding Apple’s (AAPL) sales efforts.
Samsung’s share price as dropped 7% over the past month, as the battery problem emerged. But Apple shares have gained 4%, as the new iPhone has proven not-so-dull after all.