Samsung to Probe Complaint of Galaxy S Phone Overheating

Samsung’s New Galaxy S Smartphone Raises Heat on Apple’s IPhone
An attendee uses the new Galaxy S III smartphone, produced by Samsung Electronics Co. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics Co. said it is investigating a complaint that a new Galaxy S III smartphone overheated, a day after the world’s top mobile-phone maker began U.S. sales of the latest model in its best-selling series.

A Galaxy S III owner in Ireland posted photos online June 20 showing the phone scorched on the bottom. Samsung’s local office has obtained the handset and is trying to identify the cause of the incident, James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, said by phone.

Samsung last month unveiled the new phone, powered by Google Inc.’s Android software, to widen its lead over Apple Inc. U.S. sales started yesterday following a May debut in the U.K. Shipments in South Korea are set to begin next week.

The burned Galaxy S III was mounted in a moving car when a white flame, sparks and a bang came out of it, the phone owner said in a posting on an online message board. The owner posted photos of a melted, blackened casing. The message didn’t mention whether the owner suffered any injuries, though it said a piece of plastic inside the car was slightly burned.

The customer later received a new phone from Samsung with an offer for other free products, according to an update of the original posting.

There have been no known overheating incidents caused by batteries in the Galaxy S, Chung said.

The South Korean electronics maker introduced the Galaxy S III after selling more than 50 million units of two previous models in the past two years.

Samsung fell 3.7 percent to 1.182 million won, the lowest level since May 18, in Seoul trading.

Mobile devices can generate excessive heat as they become equipped with more sophisticated features. Apple’s latest iPad ran as hot as 116 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius), Consumer Reports said in March after testing the product.

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