Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires blamed on faulty batteries

Samsung pulled the Galaxy Note 7 from shelves three months ago Credit: AP

Samsung has said faulty batteries caused its Galaxy Note 7 phones to overheat and catch fire, the first time the company has offered an explanation since removing its short-lived competitor to the iPhone from the shelves.

The electronics company also announced steps it was taking to avoid repeat incidents, as it sought to restore trust in its smartphones.

Investigations by the company and independent organisations found that the batteries were the sole cause of the Note 7 fires, Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin told reporters during a briefing in Seoul.

Around 700 Samsung engineers carried out tests on 200,000 handsets and 30,000 batteries that were charged and drained over several months.

The company announcement comes more than three months after the company scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 and recalled three million handsets,a move that wiped $5.3 billion off its operating profit.

"We look forward to moving ahead with a renewed commitment to safety. The lessons of the past several months are now deeply reflected in our processes and in our culture," the company said in a statement.

Faulty batteries were behind the phone fires, investigations have shown Credit: Ariel Gonzalez/YouTube

Despite the impact of the Note 7's demise, the South Korean firm expects fourth-quarter operating profit to hit a more than three-year high, driven by booming chip sales.

Samsung Electronics' mobile division appears confident it will bounce back, and industry analysts appear to agree.

Hi Investment analyst Song Myung-sup said: "Consumers will not be reluctant to buy the S8, expected in April or May, only if Samsung clearly finds out what caused the fires."