Galaxy Note7 debacle is potential disaster for Samsung

Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag Editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer expects Samsung's recall of the Galaxy Note7 and the decision to stop both sales and production of this flagship product after dozens of reports of the phone catching fire to damage the company's reputation among consumers, perhaps for years to come.

"We've already added it to our worst gadget flops of all time," Spoonauer said. "There's sort of a mushroom effect. It's not just about a single line. It's about trust in the brand."

One survey suggests as much as 40 percent of Samsung's customers might switch brands. The smartphone allegiance-shift is likely to benefit one company more than others.

"The brand that's going to benefit most is Apple," Spoonauer said.

Samsung is offering customers returning the Galaxy Note7 another Samsung smartphone of their choosing plus $100 bill credit or a refund for the phone plus an extra $25 toward a different device.

"It's really about reestablishing trust," Spoonauer said.

Samsung said the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note7 would cost the company about $3 billion during the current and next quarters, the AP reported.

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