Samsung Electronics Co. took out full-page newspaper advertisements in the United States to apologize for its fire-prone Note 7 phones, seeking to restore its battered reputation. The message from the world’s largest smart-phone maker appeared in major publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today this week. A representative for the Suwon, South Korea-based company said it hasn’t decided whether to run more ads in other places.
“At Samsung, we innovate to deliver breakthrough technologies that enrich people’s lives,” Gregory Lee, president of Samsung Electronics North America, wrote in the note to customers. “An important tenet of our mission is to offer best-in-class safety and quality. Recently we fell short on this promise. For this we are truly sorry.”
The Note 7, which debuted in August, was killed off in October after some of the devices caught fire or exploded; forcing the company to issue recalls and issue refunds to customers.
Samsung, the maker of Galaxy smart-phones, is facing tougher competition in the U.S. market, the home turf of its biggest rival Apple Inc., as well as in China where local manufacturers are gaining share with more affordable devices. Samsung said on Nov. 5 that about 85% of its recalled Galaxy Note 7 smart-phones in the U.S. have been replaced.
“We will listen to you, learn from this and act in a way that allows us to earn back your trust,” Lee wrote.
Samsung has also promised to disclose the reasons for the Note 7’s failure: “A careful Note 7 investigation is underway and the findings will be shared when the analysis is complete. The process will be thorough and include some of the best independent technical experts in the world to help inform and validate our work.”
Samsung is also working on its next flagship Galaxy S8 phone with a voice-enabled digital assistant.