Phones

Samsung will have 500,000 Galaxy Note 7 replacements in stores Wednesday

The company also says 25 percent of US customers have exchanged their potentially explosive devices for new models, up from 13 percent last week.

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Samsung will have enough Galaxy Note 7 phones in stores Wednesday to replace half of the devices recalled for a battery problem. Stores will have replacements for the rest of the affected phones by the end of the month.

The South Korean company on Tuesday said 500,000 replacement devices have arrived in the US and have been shipped to carrier and retail stores. About 1 million Note 7 units had been recalled in the country.

"New devices will be in stores no later than tomorrow and we will continue to take the necessary actions to ensure users are powering down and immediately exchanging recalled devices," Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement.

The company also said about 25 percent of Note 7 owners in the US have exchanged their devices, up from 13 percent last week when Samsung started making replacements available.

It added that the "vast majority" of people exchanging their Note 7 phones have opted for another Samsung Galaxy smartphone rather than a refund.

Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 7 phablet in late August to much fanfare and overall favorable reviews, but some devices overheated and caught fire. Samsung attributed the problem to a "battery cell issue" and stopped selling the device September 2.

A software update being sent to Note 7 devices will warn users every time they turn on the phone or power it that they need to exchange the device for one with a safe battery.

Samsung

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday issued an official recall for all Note 7 phones sold in the country before September 15. The group said "consumers should immediately stop using and power down the recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices" and contact the location where they purchased the devices to either get a new Note 7, a refund or a replacement device. The CPSC's notice made it illegal to attempt to sell or resell one of the recalled Note 7 phones.

The new phones will be accompanied by a software update that, when installed on one of the new devices, shows a green battery icon on the top right of the phone's screen to let users know the device is indeed the new one with an unaffected battery.

Samsung also plans to push out a software update to all recalled devices to make sure Note 7 users trade in their devices. Once installed, users will be prompted with a safety notice that urges owners to power down and exchange their recalled device. The notice will appear every time a user powers up or charges their device.

Note 7 owners can go here for details on how and where to exchange their Note 7.

CNET's Ed Moyer contributed to this report.

Update at 2 p.m. PT with additional background and details.