Over a million Galaxy Note 7 phones still on after recalls

The Galaxy Note 7 is dead, and Samsung wants its potentially explosive phones back. But data shows plenty of owners are ignoring the warnings.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
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Eric Mack
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Seriously, just turn it off.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung wants everyone to stop using the recalled Galaxy Note 7 , but new data shows many people would rather risk literally burning a hole in their pocket than power down their shiny new phone.

The Korean electronics giant and US Consumer Product Safety Commission again recalled the Galaxy Note 7 after replacement phones continued to overheat. The recall covers about 1.9 million phones in the US. Last month, Samsung said it had sold 2.5 million Note 7 phones worldwide.

On Tuesday, Samsung confirmed it had shut down production of the Note 7 and told all owners to power down the devices.

However, data from predictive app intelligence firm Apteligent shows many people are still using the potentially explosive phones. Worldwide Note 7 usage peaked on Monday, but started to fall Tuesday after Samsung's announcement. Still, usage remains seven percent higher than on the date of Samsung's first recall back in September, according to Apteligent.

You can see how Note 7 usage has trended over the past two months in the graph below. Apteligent said over a million Note 7 phones were still in use worldwide as of Wednesday night.


In other words, about 40 percent of all Note 7 users haven't heeded Samsung's plea to immediately power down the phone. In fact, we've seen plenty of Samsung superfans who love the Note 7 so much they're making a conscious choice to defy the recall.

Brand loyalty is one thing, but keep in mind the CPSC repeated Samsung's call to power down all Galaxy Note 7 phones.

"Samsung has received 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the US, including 23 new reports since the September 15 recall announcement," reads a recall notice posted Thursday. "Samsung has received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damage associated with Note 7 phones."

Now, I know 96 phones out of 1.9 million in the US makes the chances of you getting a hot phone seem slim, but you really don't want to be the person to blame when your flight has to be re-routed because of the smoking phone in your bag. In fact, it's now illegal to use or charge a Note 7 on a plane in the US.

Not to mention all the unknowns. Perhaps the risk of overheating goes up as the Note 7 battery ages? We just don't know, and it's not worth the risk.