After the Oct. 5 incident of the latest Galaxy Note 7 smartphone reportedly catching fire aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, forcing the crew to cancel its morning departure to Baltimore, Samsung has ordered a worldwide recall of more than 2.5 million of the potentially harmful mobile devices.
American virtual reality company Oculus has been working with Samsung throughout the year to host the Note 7’s visual entertainment capabilities aboard its virtual reality headset, the Oculus Gear VR, which was put to market less than a year ago. However, in response to last week’s fiery mishap, and at least five other reported spontaneous explosions and self-incinerations related to the device in the U.S. alone, Oculus has decided as of Oct. 11 to pull its support for the Note 7 “until further notice.”
As the prominent tech company is usually regarded for its consumer reliability, this is looking to become a reasonable set-back for Samsung and its mobile platform. Samsung called the case for the explosions a “rare manufacturing error” that will clearly continue to remain a danger until the phones are out of public hands. Consumers have been urged by the tech company to power down their Note 7 devices immediately and return them to the locations where they were purchased from, for the safety of themselves and others.
Oculus, although not yet having updated its website to retract support for the Note 7, stressed in its software update statement to users: “Customer safety is our top priority.” The company explains that all Note 7 devices have been reprogrammed as incompatible with the Gear VR because of this, and that any further information on the matter is available by contacting Samsung either on its website or by phone.
What this situation could mean for both Samsung and Oculus, in terms of profit and stock market value, is yet to be seen. Regardless, predictions seem to indicate that Samsung’s brand could be starting to lose public trust, after new stories have reported even some of Samsung’s household appliances malfunctioning or spontaneously combusting. Oculus can remain fairly more optimistic about the situation, as chairman Elliot Kaye announced in a statement about the Gear VR’s retraction: “It is the right move.” We can only surmise in the coming weeks that a series of internal investigations into the manufacturing of the Galaxy Note 7 and further control quality assessments will do Samsung good in determining how to recover from the recall, without blowing up any more negative conversation on social media.