China is the one major market that was not affected by the massive Galaxy Note 7 recall. Samsung said the phones in the region are safe because they contain batteries made by a local supplier, not Samsung SDI. The Samsung subsidiary made the exploding batteries that equipped Galaxy Note 7 units sold outside of China, which is why Galaxy Note 7 sales were not interrupted in the country.
But recent Galaxy Note 7 explosions in China may end up hurting Samsung anyway.
Samsung did not recall the phones sold to Chinese buyers and explained in recent days that the explosions within China were related to external heating. But the company did not fully explain what really happened. Even worse, a new Galaxy Note 7 went up in flames days after Samsung released a press statement saying the battery was not at fault.
Consulting firm iiMedia Research found that Chinese buyers may be willing to switch to some of Samsung’s competitors in the near future, following the Galaxy Note 7 explosions. iiMedia asked 12,000 Samsung users in China whether the Galaxy Note 7 issues have affected their decision to stick with the company. 51.9% of respondents said they would definitely switch away from the brand.
Samsung stated that 90% of the Galaxy Note 7 buyers who had to exchange the phone remained loyal to the brand so far. But it looks like Chinese consumers may think differently.
Of the people who said they would switch to a different smartphone maker, 37% stated that they would buy an iPhone, and 26% will get a Huawei handset. Others picked local brands including Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Meizu.