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The Note 7 embarrassment: How badly damaged is Samsung really?

31 Oct 2016

Samsung faces some short-term challenges but nothing that will darken its long-term prospects, as long as they put the matter to rest in a timely fashion.

That’s the promising results from the U.S Smartphone Owners’ Reaction Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall survey from International Data Corporation, that looked to asses damage to the Samsung brand following the Note & debacle.

IDC surveyed 1,082 U.S. consumers through an online survey on October 17th and 18th, four days after Samsung decided to halt production on the Note 7.

The survey focused on three groups of consumers: current Samsung smartphone owners (507), past Samsung smartphone owners (347), and smartphone owners who have never owned the Samsung brand (228).

"As challenging as the Note 7 recall has been for Samsung, the data in this survey indicate that most consumers are unaffected by this, which should be good news for Samsung," explains Ramon T. Llamas, research manager, Wearables and Mobile Phones.

"For the minority of Samsung customers who are unlikely to purchase a Samsung smartphone in the future, the company has to win back consumer trust,” he says.

“Thus far Samsung has offered monetary incentives but, at the heart of the matter, consumers want to learn the root causes of the problem and how Samsung intends to fix them,” says Llamas.

According to the survey, half of the 24 Note 7 owners polled say they have or will choose an Apple iPhone to replace their recalled phone, while 17% said they would choose another Samsung. Most said they will return their phone through a carrier's physical store.

IDC says the Note 7 recall doesn't appear to be harming the broader Samsung brand so far. A majority of respondents said it would not impact future decisions to buy other, non-smartphone Samsung products such as televisions and appliances.

The survey found participants' view of Samsung's response to the Note 7 recall was largely neutral to positive; surprisingly about 13% hadn't heard about the recall when polled.

Antony Scarsella, research manager, Mobile Phones, says the Note 7 recall along with all its repercussions, represents a significant event in the world of consumer electronics.

"Although the recall may have an adverse impact on the brand in the short term, the truth is that Samsung remains the clear market leader in the worldwide smartphone market,” Scarsella says.

Moving forward, Samsung will need to put the Note 7 to rest as quickly as possible and focus all efforts on producing a stellar Galaxy S8 come next Spring,” he says.

“If successful, consumers will quickly forget the Note 7 fiasco if the upcoming S8 can deliver on all fronts."

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