The move is a major setback for the world's largest producer of smartphones, which had been gaining ground against Apple in the high-end market.
By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI, CHOE SANG-HUN and VINDU GOEL
In 1995, furious over quality problems with one of his company's mobile phones, Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung and arguably the most famous businessman in South Korea, set a pile of 150,000 defective phones on fire outside a factory.
The phone bonfire became a turning point for Samsung's two-decade rise from an electronics maker associated with inexpensive knockoffs to one considered a leader in product quality, design and sales. But to the company's critics, that employee motivational moment has also served as a wry historical foreshadowing of safety problems with one of Samsung's top-selling smartphones.